Characterization of the transcriptional and functional effects of fibroblast growth factor-1 on human preadipocyte differentiation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We recently established that fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-1 promotes adipogenesis of primary human preadipocytes (phPA). In the current report, we have characterized the adipogenic effects of FGF-1 in phPA and also in a human PA strain derived from an individual with Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS PA), which exhibit an intrinsic capacity to differentiate with high efficiency. In further studies, we compared these models with the well-characterized murine 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cell line (3T3-L1 PA). FGF-1 up-regulated the adipogenic program in phPA, with increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma in confluent PA prior to induction of differentiation and increased expression of adipocyte markers during differentiation. Moreover, phPA differentiated in the presence of FGF-1 were more insulin responsive and secreted increased levels of adiponectin. FGF-1 treatment of SGBS PA further enhanced differentiation. For the most part, the adipogenic program in phPA paralleled that observed in 3T3-L1 PA; however, we found no evidence of mitotic clonal expansion in the phPA. Finally, we investigated a role for extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2) in adipogenesis of phPA. FGF-1 induced robust phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in early differentiation and inhibition of ERK1/2 activity significantly reduced phPA differentiation. These data suggest that FGF-1 treated phPA represent a valuable in vitro model for the study of adipogenesis and insulin action and indicate that ERK1/2 activation is necessary for human adipogenesis in the absence of mitotic clonal expansion.


  • Felicity S. Newell
  • Hua Su
  • Hans Tornqvist
  • Jonathan P. Whitehead
  • Johannes B. Prins
  • Louise J. Hutley
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • obesity, adipogenesis, mitosis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2615
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch