ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Infographic: The Fate of Fat Cells During Breastfeeding
Infographic: The Fate of Fat Cells During Breastfeeding

Infographic: The Fate of Fat Cells During Breastfeeding

See how the cells accommodate milk production in mouse mammary tissue.

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

ABOVE: © IKUMI KAYAMA, STUDIO KAYAMA

Before pregnancy, mouse mammary tissue contains large fat cells filled with lipids. To follow the adipocytes’ fate through lactation, researchers stained them blue:

© IKUMI KAYAMA, STUDIO KAYAMA

During breastfeeding, these labeled cells lose their lipids and shrink dramatically. They also show signs of reprogramming to a precursor state:

© IKUMI KAYAMA, STUDIO KAYAMA


After lactation, when milk-producing cells die off in a process called involution, these same blue cells fill back up with lipids and redifferentiate into adipocytes:

© IKUMI KAYAMA, STUDIO KAYAMA

Read the full story.

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT