Human brown adipose tissue: Underestimated target in metabolic disease?

Michiel P. B. Moonen, Emmani B. M. Nascimento, Wouter D. van Marken Lichtenbelt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Web of Science)
195 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Active brown adipose tissue (BAT) has, since it rediscovery in adult humans in 2009, received much attention for its ability to increase energy expenditure when activated. By means of mitochondrial uncoupling activity BAT'S main function is to produce heat instead of storing energy such as in white adipose tissue (WAT). Therefore, BAT is considered a new potential target to treat obesity and the metabolic syndrome. However, the contribution of this thermogenic tissue is still a matter of debate among researchers.

The aim of this review is to give an overview of the differences between classical brown adipocytes and inducible beige adipocytes in humans, and the potential activators of BAT in humans. Furthermore newly described genetic markers for identification of these two types of brown adipocytes are examined. Finally, the potential of the current measurement techniques, and the contribution of BAT activity to whole body energy expenditure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Volume1864
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Brown adipose tissue
  • Energy metabolism
  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • ENERGY-EXPENDITURE
  • GENE-EXPRESSION
  • FUNCTIONAL-CHARACTERIZATION
  • NONSHIVERING THERMOGENESIS
  • SUPRACLAVICULAR REGION
  • ADRENERGIC-STIMULATION
  • OXIDATIVE-METABOLISM
  • BEIGE ADIPOCYTES
  • COLD-EXPOSURE

Cite this