Adipo-clear: A tissue clearing method for three-dimensional imaging of adipose tissue

Jingyi Chi, Audrey Crane, Zhuhao Wu, Paul Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue plays a central role in energy homeostasis and thermoregulation. It is composed of different types of adipocytes, as well as adipocyte precursors, immune cells, fibroblasts, blood vessels, and nerve projections. Although the molecular control of cell type specification and how these cells interact have been increasingly delineated, a more comprehensive understanding of these adipose-resident cells can be achieved by visualizing their distribution and architecture throughout the whole tissue. Existing immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence approaches to analyze adipose histology rely on thin paraffin-embedded sections. However, thin sections capture only a small portion of tissue; as a result, the conclusions can be biased by what portion of tissue is analyzed. We have therefore developed an adipose tissue clearing technique, Adipo-Clear, to permit comprehensive three-dimensional visualization of molecular and cellular patterns in whole adipose tissues. Adipo-Clear was adapted from iDISCO/iDISCO+, with specific modifications made to completely remove the lipid stored in the tissue while preserving native tissue morphology. In combination with light-sheet fluorescence microscopy, we demonstrate here the use of the Adipo-Clear method to obtain high-resolution volumetric images of an entire adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58271
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number137
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D imaging
  • Adipose tissue
  • Light sheet fluorescence microscopy
  • Tissue clearing
  • Volume imaging
  • Whole-mount immunostaining


Dive into the research topics of 'Adipo-clear: A tissue clearing method for three-dimensional imaging of adipose tissue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this