Primary Adipocytes as a Model for Insulin Sensitivity

  • Mohamed S. ZaibiEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2076)


Obesity and its comorbidity insulin resistance lead to the development of chronic metabolic diseases, such as impaired fasted blood glucose and type 2 diabetes. Adipose tissue plays an important role in whole-body glucose homeostasis, particularly in obese individuals; therefore, many in vivo models of type 2 diabetes are obese, such as Lepob/ob and Leprdb/db mice or ZDF rats. Primary adipocytes therefore represent an attractive in vitro model to study insulin-mediated glucose uptake to investigate the mechanisms of insulin resistance and explore the potential insulin-sensitizing properties of new antidiabetic drugs.

Primary adipocytes are isolated by collagenase digestion of adipose tissue, Glucose transport is evaluated by the measurement of intracellular uptake of a tracer (D-[U14C] glucose). The uptake of [U-14 C] glucose reflects directly glucose transport.

In this chapter, we will describe the protocol for the isolation of primary rodent adipocytes and the measurement of basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.

Key words

Primary adipocytes Collagenase digestion Insulin sensitivity Glucose uptake 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Buckingham Institute of Translational MedicineUniversity of BuckinghamBuckinghamUK

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