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Abstract

<p>Adipogenesis is the process by which precursor cells develop into mature adipocytes, or fat-storing cells. From a 2012 study by Park et al., we expanded a deterministic model of the transcriptional network of adipogenesis to include a module for adiponectin (AdipoQ) production, an insulin-sensitizing hormone secreted by adipocytes. We analyzed two possible implementations for the adiponectin module to determine if variability within the system parameters alone is sufficient to explain the adipocyte heterogeneity observed in a study by Loo et al. For each model, we first characterized overall susceptibility to noise by calculating the relative local sensitivity of AdipoQ and fat to various parameters. We then simulated the experiment done by Loo et al. with 30% added noise to determine if our system could replicate their data. Our results show that only the model where fat increases the degradation of adiponectin fits the trends observed in the Loo study, indicating that it is more likely than the model where fat decreases the synthesis of adiponectin.</p>