• Mesenteric adipocytes;
  • Differentiation;
  • Insulin;
  • IGF-1;
  • Insulin resistance


Visceral adipose tissue, particularly mesenteric adipose tissue, is important in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. Here, we present a physiologically relevant differentiation system of rat mesenteric-stromal vascular cells (mSVC) to mesenteric-visceral adipocytes (mVAC). We optimized the insulin concentration at levels comparable to those in vivo (∼0.85 ng/ml) by including physiological concentrations of IGF-1. We found that the insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and insulin worked synergistically, since IGF-1 alone could induce CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPα) and adipocyte lipid binding protein (aP2) mRNA expression but not lipid droplet accumulation associated with maturation. Using real-time PCR analyses on 180 adipocyte-related genes, we identified a dramatic effect by IGF-1 plus insulin. We also demonstrated the state of insulin resistance at pathologically high insulin concentrations. This culture system will contribute to understanding the physiological differentiation process and the patho/physiology of mVAC.