Cold-activated brown adipose tissue in human adults: methodological issues

A.A. van der Lans, R. Wierts, M.J. Vosselman, P. Schrauwen, B. Brans, W.D. van Marken Lichtenbelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The relevance of functional brown adipose tissue (BAT) depots in human undisputedly proven approximately seven years ago. Here we give an all dedicated studies that were published on cold-induced BAT activity humans that appeared since then. Different cooling protocols and imaging techniques to determine BAT activity are reviewed. BAT activation can be by means of air- or water-cooling protocols. The most promising approach individualized cooling, during which subjects are studied at the lowest temperature for nonshivering condition, probably revealing maximal thermogenesis. The highest BAT prevalence (i.e. close to 100%) is the individualized cooling protocol. Currently, the most widely used study the metabolic activity of BAT is [18F]FDG-PET/CT-imaging. Dynamic provides quantitative information about glucose uptake rates, while imaging reflects overall BAT glucose uptake, localization and general, standardized uptake values (SUV) are used to quantify BAT accurate determination of total BAT volume is hampered by the limited resolution of the PET-image, leading to spill over. Different research different SUV threshold values, which make it difficult to directly activity levels between studies. Another issue is the comparison of uptake in BAT with respect to other tissues or upon with baseline comparison can be performed by using the 'fixed volume' methodology. potential use of other relatively noninvasive methods to quantify BAT, or thermography, is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R103-R113
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume307
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • brown adipose tissue
  • energy expenditure
  • PET/CT imaging
  • cooling
  • humans
  • AGE-RELATED-CHANGES
  • ENERGY-EXPENDITURE
  • NONSHIVERING THERMOGENESIS
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE
  • ADAPTIVE THERMOGENESIS
  • SUPRACLAVICULAR REGION
  • FAT
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • TEMPERATURE
  • INCREASE

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