Mesenchymal stem cells differentiate to form adipocytes, the cells responsible for the synthesis and storage of fat. Adipocytes can store energy in the form of lipids and release energy stores in response to hormonal stimulation. Morphologically, adipocytes are bloated cells with displaced nuclei and a thin compartment of cytoplasm. Differentiation markers of adipogenesis are important for the identification and isolation of differentiated adipocytes.
R&D Systems offers a wide range of related products including those for Pref-1, which is specifically expressed in pre-adipocytes but not mature fully differentiated adipocytes. In addition, antibodies against FABP4 detect levels of a surface marker which is only expressed in mature adipocyte cells. Other markers include Adiponectin, an adipose tissue-specific adipocytokine, and Leptin. Serum concentrations of Leptin have been shown to directly reflect the amount of adipose tissue present.