Plasticity of Epididymal Adipose Tissue in Response to Diet-Induced Obesity at Single-Nucleus Resolution

Anitta Kinga Sárvári, Elvira Laila Van Hauwaert, Lasse Kruse Markussen, Ellen Gammelmark, Ann-Britt Marcher, Morten Frendø Ebbesen, Ronni Nielsen, Jonathan Richard Brewer, Jesper Grud Skat Madsen*, Susanne Mandrup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Adipose tissues display a remarkable ability to adapt to the dietary status. Here, we have applied single-nucleus RNA-seq to map the plasticity of mouse epididymal white adipose tissue at single-nucleus resolution in response to high-fat-diet-induced obesity. The single-nucleus approach allowed us to recover all major cell types and to reveal distinct transcriptional stages along the entire adipogenic trajectory from preadipocyte commitment to mature adipocytes. We demonstrate the existence of different adipocyte subpopulations and show that obesity leads to disappearance of the lipogenic subpopulation and increased abundance of the stressed lipid-scavenging subpopulation. Moreover, obesity is associated with major changes in the abundance and gene expression of other cell populations, including a dramatic increase in lipid-handling genes in macrophages at the expense of macrophage-specific genes. The data provide a powerful resource for future hypothesis-driven investigations of the mechanisms of adipocyte differentiation and adipose tissue plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)437-453.e5
Publication statusPublished - 2. Feb 2021


  • adipocyte differentiation
  • adipocyte subpopulations
  • adipose tissue plasticity
  • fibro-adipogenic progenitors
  • in vivo adipogenesis
  • lipid-associated macrophages
  • snRNA-seq


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasticity of Epididymal Adipose Tissue in Response to Diet-Induced Obesity at Single-Nucleus Resolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this