Molecular and cellular endocrinology

Comparative gene array analysis of progenitor cells from human paired deep neck and subcutaneous adipose tissue.

PMID 25102227


Brown and white adipocytes have been shown to derive from different progenitors. In this study we sought to clarify the molecular differences between human brown and white adipocyte progenitors cells. To this end, we performed comparative gene array analysis on progenitor cells isolated from paired biopsies of deep and subcutaneous neck adipose tissue from individuals (n = 6) undergoing neck surgery. Compared with subcutaneous neck progenitors, cells from the deep neck adipose tissue displayed marked differences in gene expression pattern, including 355 differentially regulated (>1.5 fold) genes. Analysis of highest regulated genes revealed that STMN2, MME, ODZ2, NRN1 and IL13RA2 genes were specifically expressed in white progenitor cells, whereas expression of LRRC17, CNTNAP3, CD34, RGS7BP and ADH1B marked brown progenitor cells. In conclusion, progenitors from deep neck and subcutaneous neck adipose tissue are characterized by a distinct molecular signature, giving rise to either brown or white adipocytes. The newly identified markers may provide potential pharmacological targets facilitating brown adipogenesis.