Brown Adipose Tissue Activation Is Linked to Distinct Systemic Effects on Lipid Metabolism in Humans

Maria Chondronikola, Elena Volpi, Elisabet Børsheim, Craig Porter, Manish K. Saraf, Palam Annamalai, Christina Yfanti, Tony Chao, Daniel Wong, Kosaku Shinoda, Sebastien M. Labbe, Nicholas M. Hurren, Fernardo Cesani, Shingo Kajimura, Labros S. Sidossis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a role in energy and glucose metabolism in humans. However, the physiological significance of human BAT in lipid metabolism remains unknown. We studied 16 overweight/obese men during prolonged, non-shivering cold and thermoneutral conditions using stable isotopic tracer methodologies in conjunction with hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps and BAT and white adipose tissue (WAT) biopsies. BAT volume was significantly associated with increased whole-body lipolysis, triglyceride-free fatty acid (FFA) cycling, FFA oxidation, and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. Functional analysis of BAT and WAT demonstrated the greater thermogenic capacity of BAT compared to WAT, while molecular analysis revealed a cold-induced upregulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism only in BAT. The accelerated mobilization and oxidation of lipids upon BAT activation supports a putative role for BAT in the regulation of lipid metabolism in humans. Chondronikola et al. explore the role of BAT in lipid metabolism in humans and show that cold-induced BAT activation is associated with increased whole-body lipolysis, triglyceride-free fatty acid (FFA) cycling, FFA oxidation, and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. Cold upregulates the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism specifically in BAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCell Metabolism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 24 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology

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    Chondronikola, M., Volpi, E., Børsheim, E., Porter, C., Saraf, M. K., Annamalai, P., Yfanti, C., Chao, T., Wong, D., Shinoda, K., Labbe, S. M., Hurren, N. M., Cesani, F., Kajimura, S., & Sidossis, L. S. (Accepted/In press). Brown Adipose Tissue Activation Is Linked to Distinct Systemic Effects on Lipid Metabolism in Humans. Cell Metabolism. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.04.029