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3D analysis of the whole subcutaneous adipose tissue reveals a complex spatial network of interconnected lobules with heterogeneous browning ability

Dichamp, Jules and Barreau, Corinne and Guissard, Christophe and Carrière, Audrey and Martinez, Yves and Descombes, Xavier and Pénicaud, Luc and Rouquette, Jacques and Casteilla, Louis and Plouraboué, Franck and Lorsignol, Anne 3D analysis of the whole subcutaneous adipose tissue reveals a complex spatial network of interconnected lobules with heterogeneous browning ability. (2019) Scientific Reports, 9. 1-13. ISSN 2045-2322

(Document in English)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43130-9


Adipose tissue, as the main energy storage organ and through its endocrine activity, is interconnected with all physiological functions. It plays a fundamental role in energy homeostasis and in the development of metabolic disorders. Up to now, this tissue has been analysed as a pool of different cell types with very little attention paid to the organization and putative partitioning of cells. Considering the absence of a complete picture of the intimate architecture of this large soft tissue, we developed a method that combines tissue clearing, acquisition of autofluorescence or lectin signals by confocal microscopy, segmentation procedures based on contrast enhancement, and a new semi-automatic image analysis process, allowing accurate and quantitative characterization of the whole 3D fat pad organization. This approach revealed the unexpected anatomic complexity of the murine subcutaneous fat pad. Although the classical picture of adipose tissue corresponds to a superposition of simple and small ellipsoidal lobules of adipose cells separated by mesenchymal spans, our results show that segmented lobules display complex 3D poly-lobular shapes. Despite differences in shape and size, the number of these poly-lobular subunits is similar from one fat pad to another. Finally, investigation of the relationships of these subunits between each other revealed a never-described organization in two clusters with distinct molecular signatures and specific vascular and sympathetic nerve densities correlating with different browning abilities. This innovative procedure reveals that subcutaneous adipose tissue exhibits a subtle functional heterogeneity with partitioned areas, and opens new perspectives towards understanding its functioning and plasticity.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is an open access article under the CC BY license : https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ The definitive version of this document is available at: https://rdcu.be/bRNp0
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Etablissement Français du Sang - EFS Midi-Pyrénées (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse - ENVT (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale - INSERM (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Région Midi-Pyrénées (FRANCE) - Société Française de Nutrition (FRANCE)
Deposited On:24 Sep 2019 15:43

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