ABSTRACT White adipose tissue (AT) is the main lipid storage depot in vertebrates. Initially considered to be a simple lipid store, AT has recently been recognized as playing a role as an endocrine organ that is implicated in processes such as energy homeostasis and as a rich source of stem cells. Interest in adipogenesis has increased not only because of the prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in humans, but also in aquaculture because of the excessive fat deposition experienced in some cultured fish species, which may compromise both their welfare and their final product quality. Adipocyte development is well conserved among vertebrates, and this conservation has facilitated the rapid characterization of several adipogenesis models in fish. This Review presents the main findings of adipogenesis research based in primary cultures of the preadipocytes of farmed fish species. Zebrafish has emerged as an excellent model for studying the early stages of adipocyte fish development in vivo . Nevertheless, larger fish species are more suitable for the isolation of preadipocytes from visceral AT and for studies in which preadipocytes are differentiated in vitro to form mature adipocytes. Differentiated adipocytes contain lipid droplets and express adipocyte marker genes such as those encoding the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ ( pparγ ), CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α ( c/ebpα ), lipoprotein lipase ( lpl ), fatty acid synthase ( fas ), fatty acid binding protein 11 ( fabp11 ), fatty acid transporter protein1 ( fatp1 ), adiponectin and leptin. Differentiated adipocytes also have elevated glycerol 3-phosphate (G3P) dehydrogenase (GPDH) activity. To better understand fish adipocyte development and regulation, different adipokines, fatty acids, growth factors and PPAR agonists have been studied, providing relevant insights into which factors affect these processes and counterbalance AT dysregulation.