Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Microscopic examination of adipocytes isolated from adult rat epididymal adipose tissue revealed numerous small cells (〈 10 μm) morphologically similar to larger adipocytes. These small adipocytes appear identical to a new classification of adipose cells termed preadipocytes. Electron micrographs of these preadipocytes revealed examples of cells 〈 10 μm in diameter in various stages of maturation and lipid accumulation. The percent distribution pattern of these small adipocytes was not significantly altered by exercise although exercise shifted the distribution patterns of the larger cells (〉 30 μm) toward a smaller mean cell size. The quantitative significance of preadipocytes is not established but these preliminary observations indicate that adipocytes 〈 10 μm in diameter may account for a numerically greater proportion of the total adipocytes observed in collagenase isolated preparations than heretofore recognized, although their contribution to total adipose mass is probably negligible.
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