Diet-induced obesity in stem cell antigen-1 KO mice

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Stem Cell Antigen-1 (Sca-1) is a member of the lymphocyte-activated protein 6 family and has served as a marker for the identification of stem cells in various tissues, including fat depots. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest the possible involvement of Sca-1 in adipogenic differentiation and link Sca-1 antigenicity with adipocyte progenitors. Previously, we showed that Sca-1-enriched populations of ear mesenchymal stem cells possess enhanced capacity to differentiate into adipocytes. Additionally, we determined the natural frequency and localization of Sca-1-positive progenitor/stem cells in brown and white fat in situ. The present study addressed the question whether Sca-1 deficiency alters the white adipose tissue response to a high-saturated-fat diet. Our results show that Sca-1 null mice (Sca-1(-/-)) fed high-fat diet developed obesity equally well as wild-type mice, suggesting either an indirect in vivo effect of Sca-1 or a compensatory response to Sca-1 deficiency. However, contrary to wild-type mice, high fat diet-fed Sca-1(-/-) mice showed no alterations in serum adipocytokines. The data lead to the conclusion that Sca-1 is either redundant or a nonessential marker of adipose progenitor/stem cells. Nevertheless, since Sca-1-deficient mice displayed elevated blood glucose at fasting and exhibited glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, Sca-1 has subtle effects on adipose function. Thus, the Sca-1-deficient mice may provide a useful model for metabolic studies.

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Stem cells and development

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