Core Services

Special Resource:

From the National Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers, the MMPC Energy Expenditure Analysis Page

Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core (ABM)


Barbara E. Corkey, PhD (BU School of Medicine)


Andrew Greenberg, MD (Tufts University and HNRCA)

Assistant Co-Director:

Tova Meshulam, PhD (BU School of Medicine)

We have renamed our ‘Adipocyte Core’ to Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core.

The purpose of the Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core is to:

  1. Facilitate and foster research on mechanisms regulating white, brite or beige (cells in white adipose tissue with metabolic characteristics of brown) and brown adipose tissue mass, distribution, nutrient signaling and depot-specific metabolic and endocrine functions in health and disease.
  2. Provide easy and cost-effective access to carefully quality controlled rodent and human preadipocytes and adipocytes, and banked cell and tissues and their products (e.g. RNA, cDNA, tissue or cell lysates, conditioned media).
  3. Develop and standardize methods in adipocyte biology as needed by our research base in this rapidly evolving field.
  4. Provide consultative advice, support and training for new investigators and established investigators from the nutrition and obesity fields, as well as other fields, who wish to understand the role of adipose tissues and adipocytes in their clinical/translational studies or model systems.
  5. Facilitate and foster the translation of basic research findings from cell and animal models into clinical/translational studies.
  6. Organize the Adipose and Metabolic Tissue Seminar Series, which serves as an incubator for new collaborations, and as a training ground for pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows.
  7. Organize workshops on controversial topics and the application of new technologies to our field.
(Jump to Fee Schedule)
  1. Stocks of frozen stromal cells (preadipocytes) and adipose tissue samples:
    • a. Frozen preadipocyte stocks from visceral (omental, mesenteric, epiploic) and sc (abdominal, gluteal, thigh) human adipose tissue (in many cases samples are paired, 2 or 3 depots/individual).
    • b. Plated human preadipocytes or differentiated adipocytes for preliminary studies.
    • c. Tissue samples: banked quick frozen or fresh upon special arrangement of human (non-obese, obese and reduced obese men and women from abdominoplasty or elective surgeries and needle biopsies) or mouse adipose (low or high fat fed) or other metabolically important rodent tissues – liver, muscle when available.
    • d. Cell or tissue homogenates, RNA, cDNA, adipose conditioned media and bloodfromhuman and rodents.
  2. Hands-on Training in: (up to several days)
    • a. Human adipose tissue aspirations, handling and storage.
    • b. Methods for preparing isolated fat cells from human and rodent adipose tissues for metabolic studies, methods for measurement of adipocyte metabolism (e.g. lipolysis, adipokine release, glucose uptake and metabolism, lipogenesis, hormone signaling), and methods for adipocyte sizing.
    • c. Adipose tissue processing for histology/immunohistochemistry, RNA, DNA, and protein extraction.
    • d. Isolation of adipose stromal cells from human and rodent adipose tissue.
    • e. Methods for preadipocyte culture and differentiation into adipocytes (human and rodents).
    • f. Adipose tissue explants cultures, measurement of adipokines.
    • g. Knockdown and overexpression of specific genes in cultured preadipocytes and adipocytes using siRNA, shRNA, and lentiviral or adenoviral vectors.
    • h. Harvest of rodent adipose and other metabolic tissues.
    • i. Preparation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF).
  3. Consultation (up to several hours)
    • a. Provide standardized protocols and advice on optimal methods for use and sizing of collagenase-isolated adipocytes for metabolic studies (e.g. lipolysis, glucose uptake and metabolism, lipogenesis, hormone signaling) for a specific experiment.
    • b. Provide advice on experimental designs for adipocyte and adipose tissue experiments in rodents and humans.
    • c. Adipocyte sizing – choice of optimal techniques for specific objectives (Coulter counter, photo-microscopy, histology methods – including crown-like structures.
    • d. Design of nutrition interventions for animal model and human studies, including procedures and timing for fasting/feeding/refeeding, selection of appropriate controls for high fat diets, and considerations in the choice of fat, protein and carbohydrate sources to best achieve experimental objectives.
  4. Development of new methods as needed by users
  5. Other services or products by special request

After consulting with the Core Director, please use the link below to request Core services.

Click here to access the BNORC Core User Request Form

Fee Schedule for Adipose Core Services

Fee (USD$)

cDNA synthesis (insulin and other hormones) 35.00 per 10 samples
ELISA or RIA Variable depending on request, please inquire.
Fat or Muscle aspiration, 1 site 160.00
Fat or Muscle aspiration 1 site with physician time/effort 257.00
Fat or Muscle aspiration 2 sites with MD assist 207.00
qPCR 89.00 per 5 genes
RNA extraction and cleanup 149.00 per 10 samples
Stocks of preadipocytes for culture (passage 1) 50.00
Stocks of preadipocytes for culture (passages 2-4) 55.00
Western blotting 155.00 per gel

Other services are available, please submit a request via the BNORC Core User Request Form.

After consulting with the Core Director, please use the link below to request Core services.

Click here to access the BNORC Core User Request Form

** New Service **

Tufts Histology Core will process samples for BNORC members and provide the costs for Tufts researchers.

Interested researchers should contact Andrew Greenberg, MD ( to facilitate the processing of samples at Tufts Core.

Tufts Histology Fee Schedule

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