Adipose Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core

Boston University School of Medicine

Picture courtesy of Dr. Tova Meshulam, “In vitro differentiated human adipocytes stained with Oil Red O”


Stephen R. Farmer, PhD


Miguel Luis Batista, Jr., Ph.D.

Assistant Co-Director:

Tova Meshulam, Ph.D.


Caroline M. Apovian, MD, FACP, FACN

Click here for core presentation on October 18.

The purpose of the Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core is to:
  1. Facilitate and foster research on mechanisms regulating adipose tissue mass, distribution, nutrient signaling and depot-specific metabolic and endocrine functions in health and disease.
  2. Provide easy and cost-effective access to carefully quality controlled rodent and human preadipocytes and adipocytes, and banked cell and tissues.
  3. Develop and standardize methods in adipocyte biology as needed by our research base in this rapidly evolving field.
  4. Provide consultative advice, support and training for new investigators and established investigators from the nutrition and obesity fields, as well as other fields, who wish to understand the role of adipose tissues and adipocytes in their clinical/translational studies or model systems.
  5. Facilitate and foster the translation of basic research findings from cell and animal models into clinical/translational studies.
  6. Organize the Adipose and Metabolic Tissue Seminar Series, which serves as an incubator for new collaborations, and as a training ground for pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows.
  7. Organize workshops on controversial topics and application of new technologies to adipose biology research.
  1. Adipose tissue and stromal cells procurement and processing:
    • a. Frozen preadipocyte stocks from visceral (omental, mesenteric, epiploic) and sc (abdominal, gluteal, thigh) human adipose tissue (in many cases samples are paired, 2 or 3 depots/individual). Fee=$50/vial
    • b. Plated human preadipocytes or differentiated adipocytes for preliminary studies. Fee=$60/vial
    • c. Tissue samples: banked quick frozen or fresh upon special arrangement of human (non-obese, obese and reduced obese men and women from abdominoplasty or elective surgeries and needle biopsies) or mouse adipose (low or high fat fed) tissue Fee=$20/banked samples; inquire for fresh samples
    • d. Cell or tissue homogenates, RNA, cDNA, adipose conditioned media and blood from human and rodents. Fee=RNA extraction $150/10 samples; cDNA synthesis $40/10 samples; qPCR $100/5 genes
  2. Histology: Tufts Histology Core will process samples for BNORC members and provide the costs for Tufts researchers. Interested researchers should contact Andrew Greenberg, MD ( to facilitate the processing of samples at Tufts Core. (Tufts Histology Fee Schedule)
  3. Bioenergetics: Use of Seahorse Extra Cellular xF24 Analyzer through BU Analytical Core. Fee=$56/2 plates
  4. Hands-on Training in: (up to several days)
    • a. Harvest of rodent adipose and other metabolic tissues.
    • b. Human adipose tissue aspirations, handling and storage.
    • c. Methods for preparing isolated fat cells from human and rodent adipose tissues for metabolic studies, methods for measurement of adipocyte metabolism, and methods for adipocyte sizing.
    • d. Adipose tissue processing for histology/immunohistochemistry, RNA, DNA, and protein extraction.
    • e. Isolation of adipose stromal cells from human and rodent adipose tissue.
    • f. Methods for preadipocyte culture and differentiation into adipocytes.
    • g. Adipose tissue explants cultures, measurement of adipokines.
    • h. Knockdown and overexpression of specific genes in cultured preadipocytes and adipocytes using siRNA, shRNA, and lentiviral or adenoviral vectors.
  5. Consultation (up to several hours)
    • a. Provide advice on experimental designs for adipocyte and adipose tissue experiments in rodents and humans.
    • b. Adipocyte sizing – choice of optimal techniques for specific objectives (Coulter counter, photo-microscopy, histology methods – including crown-like structures.
    • c. Design of nutrition interventions for animal model and human studies, including procedures and timing for fasting/feeding/refeeding, selection of appropriate controls for high fat diets, and considerations in the choice of fat, protein and carbohydrate sources to best achieve experimental objectives.
  6. Core services for various types of assays for both rodent and human studies are available at the Clinical and Analytical Laboratory (CACL), part of the Nutrition Evaluation Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. The CACL offers a wide range of assays and can also develop assays in response to specific requests and needs. For more information see links below:
    Please see pricing list link for list of common assays available at the CACL.
  7. Other services or products by special request, including development of new methods as needed by users

After consulting with the Core Director, please use the link below to request Core services.

Click here to access the BNORC Core User Request Form

Special Resource:

From the National Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers, the MMPC Energy Expenditure Analysis Page