Distinct functional properties of murine perinatal and adult adipose progenitor subpopulations

Qianbin Zhang, Bo Shan, Lei Guo, Mengle Shao, Lavanya Vishvanath, George Elmquist, Lin Xu, Rana K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Adult white adipose tissue (WAT) harbors distinct mesenchymal stromal cell subpopulations that differentially affect WAT function and plasticity. Here we unveil the cellular landscape of the perinatal epididymal WAT primordium using single-cell transcriptomics in male mice. We reveal that adipocyte precursor cells and fibro-inflammatory progenitors (FIPs) emerge as functionally distinct PDGFRβ+ subpopulations within the epididymal WAT anlagen prior to adipocyte accrual. We further identify important molecular and functional differences between perinatal and adult FIPs, including differences in their pro-inflammatory response, adipogenic capacity and anti-adipogenic behavior. Notably, we find that transient overexpression of Pparg in PDGFRβ+ cells only during postnatal days 0.5 to 7.5 in male mice leads to hyperplastic WAT development, durable progenitor cell reprogramming, and protection against pathologic WAT remodeling and glucose intolerance in adult-onset obesity. Thus, factors that alter the adipogenic capacity of perinatal adipose progenitors can have long-lasting effects on progenitor plasticity, tissue expandability and metabolic health into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1070
Number of pages16
JournalNature Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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