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.

Dec 1, 2018
Kerry Grens

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

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