Table 1: Advantages and limitations of some experimental methods for studying lipolysis.

MethodAdvantagesLimitations

Culture of preadipocyte cell lines and differentiated stroma-vascular cellsProvides abundant supply of homogeneous cells
Suitable for screening agents for their possible lipolytic or antilipolytic activities
Appropriate for long-term in vitro studies
Suitable for studying molecular mechanisms and transcription factors involved in lipolysis process
It takes several days until the cells become ready for study
The cells may not fully differentiate to adipocytes
Differentiation capacity decreases with increasing number of passages
Excludes nervous system and endocrine system effects, therefore results may not fully reflect in vivo condition
Glycerol reagent should be highly sensitive

Primary culture of adipocyteMost of isolated adipocytes are fully differentiated
A rapid method for testing acute effect of compounds
Suitable for screening agents for their possible lipolytic or antilipolytic activities
Comparative use of adipocytes from different depots
Need to high n number to resolve interindividual variations
Need for enzymatic digestion
Loss of hormone sensitivity and gene expression in long-term culture
High variability in results obtained from freshly isolated cells
Excludes nervous system and endocrine system effects
Glycerol reagent should be highly sensitive

Organ culture of adipose tissuePreserves extracellular matrix and paracrine interactions
Good correlation with in vivo studies
Useful for chronic lipolysis studies
Suitable for assessing the long-term regulation of gen involved in the lipolysis pathways
Comparative use of adipocytes from different depots
Presence of multiple cell types in tissue complicates interpretation of molecular mechanisms of tested drug
Excludes nervous system and endocrine system effects

Microdialysis of adipose tissuePreserves extracellular matrix and paracrine interactions
Preserves nervous system and endocrine system effects
Enables continuous monitoring of lipolysis
Allows study of adipose tissue response during systemic drug administration
Its application on human is restricted to subcutaneous fat depot
It is time consuming and uncomfortable for the patients