Gene expression profile of rat adipose tissue at the onset of high-fat-diet obesity

Jinping Li, Xinxin Yu, Wentong Pan, Roger H. Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Morbid obesity is the result of massive expansion of white adipose tissue (WAT) and requires recruitment of adipocyte precursor cells and their supporting infrastructure. To characterize the change in the expression profile of the preexisting WAT at the start of obesity, when adipocyte hypertrophy is present but hyperplasia is still minimal, we employed a cDNA subtraction screen for genes differentially expressed in epididymal fat pads harvested 1 wk after the start of a 60% fat diet. Ninety-six genes were upregulated by at least 50% above the WAT of control rats receiving a 4% fat diet. Of these genes, 30 had not previously been identified. Sixteen of the 96 genes, including leptin, adipocyte complement-related protein 30 kDa, and resistin, were predicted to encode a signal peptide. Ten of the 16 had been previously identified in other tissues and implicated in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, cell cycle control, and angiogenesis. One was a novel gene. Twenty-nine novel fragments were identified. Thus, at the onset of high-fat-diet-induced obesity in rats, adipose tissue increases its expression of factors previously implicated in the expansion of nonadipocyte tissues and of several uncharacterized novel factors. The only one of these thus far characterized functionally was found to promote lipogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1334-E1341
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 45-6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipocyte hormones
  • Adipocyte hyperplasia
  • Adipocyte hypertrophy
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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