AdipoQ - a simple, open-source software to quantify adipocyte morphology and function in tissues and in vitro
The different adipose tissues can be distinguished according to their function. For example, white adipose tissue (WAT) stores energy in form of lipids, whereas brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy in the form of heat. These functional differences are represented in the respective adipocyte morphology: whereas white adipocytes contain large, unilocular lipid droplets, brown adipocytes contain smaller, multilocular lipid droplets. However, an automated, image-analysis pipeline to comprehensively analyze adipocytes in vitro in cell culture as well as ex vivo in tissue sections is missing. We here present AdipoQ, an open-source software implemented as ImageJ plugins that allows to analyze adipocytes in tissue sections and in vitro after histological and/or immunofluorescent labelling. AdipoQ is compatible with different imaging modalities and staining methods, allows batch processing of large datasets and simple post-hoc analysis, provides a broad band of parameters, and allows combining multiple fluorescent read-outs. Thereby, AdipoQ is of immediate use not only for basic research but also for clinical diagnosis.