Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Bingzhong Xue

Second Advisor

Timothy Jon Bartness

Third Advisor

Hang Shi


The increase in the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases has caused greater attention to be placed on the molecular mechanisms controlling adipogenesis. In this study, we studied the role of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC), an inhibitor of DNA methylation, on adipocyte differentiation. We found that inhibiting DNA methylation by 5-Aza-dC significantly inhibited adipocyte differentiation whereas promoting osteoblastogenesis. Wnt10a was up-regulated by 5-Aza-dC treatment and it was suggested that Wnt10a might play a vital role in suppressing adipogenesis and promoting osteoblastogenesis by inhibiting DNA methylation. In 3T3-L1 cells, Wnt signaling inhibitor IWP-2 was found to reverse the inhibitory effect of 5-Aza-dC on Adipocyte differentiation, whereas in mesenchymal stem cell line, ST2 cells, IWP-2 treatment reversed the effect of 5-Aza-dC on promoting osteoblastogenesis. These studies will provide a better understanding to the cause and treatment of obesity and bone-related diseases.