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Differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells into fat involves reactive oxygen species and Forkhead Box O1 mediated upregulation of antioxidant enzymes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 10:47 authored by Higuchi, M, Dusting, GJ, Peshavariya, H, Jiang, F, Hsiao, STF, Chan, EC, Guei-Sheung LiuGuei-Sheung Liu
Both reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Forkhead box O (FOXO) family transcription factors are involved in the regulation of adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes and stem cells. While FOXO has a pivotal role in maintaining cellular redox homeostasis, the interactions between ROS and FOXO during adipogenesis are not clear. Here we examined how ROS and FOXO regulate adipogenesis in human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC). The identity of isolated cells was confirmed by their surface marker expression pattern typical for human mesenchymal stem cells (positive for CD29, CD44, CD73, CD90, and CD105, negative for CD45 and CD31). Using a standard adipogenic cocktail consisting of insulin, dexamethasone, indomethacin, and 3-Isobutyl-1-methylanxthine (IDII), adipogenesis was induced in hASC, which was accompanied by ROS generation. Scavenging ROS production with N-acetyl-L-cysteine or EUK-8, a catalytic mimetic of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, inhibited IDII-induced adipogenesis. We then mimicked IDII-induced oxidative stress through a lentiviral overexpression of Nox4 and an exogenous application of hydrogen peroxide in hASC and both manipulations significantly enhanced adipogenesis without changing the adipogenic differentiation rate. These data suggest that ROS promoted lipid accumulation in hASC undergoing adipogenesis. Antioxidant enzymes, including SOD2, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase were upregulated by IDII during adipogenesis, and these effects were blunted by FOXO1 silencing, which also suppressed significantly IDII-induced adipogenesis. Our findings demonstrated a balance of ROS generation and endogenous antioxidants in cells undergoing adipogenesis. Approaches targeting ROS and/or FOXO1 in adipocytes may bring new strategies to prevent and treat obesity and metabolic syndrome.


Publication title

Stem Cells and Development










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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