A simplified and defined serum-free medium for cultivating fat across species

Rada Mitić, Federica Cantoni, Christoph S Börlin, Mark J Post, Laura Jackisch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cultivated meat is a promising technology with the potential to mitigate the ethical and environmental issues associated with traditional meat. Fat plays a key role in the meat flavor; therefore, development of suitable adipogenic protocols for livestock is essential. The traditional adipogenic cocktail containing IBMX, dexamethasone, insulin and rosiglitazone is not food-compatible. Here, we demonstrate that of the four inducers only insulin and rosiglitazone are necessary in both serum-free (DMAD) and serum-containing media, with DMAD outperforming FBS. Two glucocorticoid receptor activators, progesterone and hydrocortisone, found in DMAD and FBS, affect differentiation homogeneity, without playing an essential role in activating adipogenic genes. Importantly, this protocol leads to mature adipocytes in 3D culture. This was demonstrated in both media types and in four species: ruminant and monogastric. We therefore propose a simplified one-step adipogenic protocol which, given the replacement of rosiglitazone by a food-compatible PPARγ agonist, is suitable for making cultivated fat.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105822
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023


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