Muscle Cell Differentiation in Action


Submitted by Marko Knoll of the Lodish Lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research


There are two principal types of fat tissue in mammals. Whereas white adipose tissue (WAT) is specialized to store chemical energy in form of triglycerides, brown adipose tissue (BAT) is specialized to generate heat and consume energy as a defense against cold and obesity. Brown adipose cells and muscle cells share the same Myf5+ progenitor cell. My interest is to determine factors and genes that have the ability to differentiate a muscle derived progenitor cell line into brown adipose cells. In order to establish the in vitro differentiation of muscle derived progenitor cells this picture was taken to control the differentiation process. The image shows muscle cells in a petri dish.