Excessive accumulation of visceral adipose tissue, particularly mesenteric adipose tissue, is one of the most important factors in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome. We previously developed a system for physiologically differentiating rat mesenteric-stromal vascular cells (mSVCs) to mesenteric-visceral adipocytes (mVACs) and are currently implementing various approaches to elucidate the details of the pathophysiology of mVACs. However, there is a critical problem to overcome, namely, that mature mVACs detach from the culture dishes and lose their function after approx. 10 days in culture. Therefore, we examined a culture of mSVCs on self-organized honeycomb-patterned films (honeycomb films) in order to establish a long-term culture for mVACs. The honeycomb films with highly regular porous structures can be prepared under humid casting conditions. These films can be prepared with ease, at a low cost and without any limitations pertaining to the availability of materials for the scaffold. As a result, mSVCs differentiated to mVACs and maintained their function for the secretion of adiponectin on the honeycomb films for at least 40 days. In addition, we investigated the influence of the pore size of the honeycomb films on mVAC behavior. We found that a honeycomb film with a pore size of 20 μm showed the highest mVAC function and optimum size for the long-term culture of mVACs. Thus, we established a long-term culture system for mVACs using the honeycomb films. We believe that this culture system will contribute to the understanding of the pathophysiology of mVACs and to the evaluation of drug candidates for the metabolic syndrome.
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