Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) is an amine oxidase related to the copper-containing amine oxidase family. The tissular form of SSAO is located at the plasma membrane, and is mainly expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells and adipocytes. Recent studies have suggested that SSAO could activate glucose transport in fat cells. In the present work, we investigated the potential role of a chronic SSAO activation on adipocyte maturation of the 3T3-L1 pre-adipose cell line. Exposure of post-confluent 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes to methylamine, a physiological substrate of SSAO, promoted adipocyte differentiation in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This effect could be related to SSAO activation, since it was antagonized in the presence of the SSAO inhibitor semicarbazide, but not in the presence of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor pargyline. In addition, methylamine-induced adipocyte maturation was mimicked by 3T3-L1 cell treatment with other SSAO substrates. Finally, the large reversion of methylamine action by catalase indicated that hydrogen peroxide generated by SSAO was involved, at least in part, in the modulation of adipocyte maturation. Taken together, our results suggest that SSAO may contribute to the control of adipose tissue development.

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