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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Microbiome and Metabolism Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #333713

Research Project: Impact of Early Dietary Factors on Child Development and Health

Location: Microbiome and Metabolism Research Unit

Title: Novel browning agents, mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of brown adipose tissue

item WANKHADE, U - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item SHEN, MICHAEL - Duke University
item YADAV, HARIOM - National Institutes Of Health (NIH)
item THAKALI, KESHARI - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)

Submitted to: BioMed Research International
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2016
Publication Date: 11/20/2016
Citation: Wankhade, U.D., Shen, M., Yadav, H., Thakali, K.M. 2016. Novel browning agents, mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of brown adipose tissue. BioMed Research International. 2016:Article ID 2365609. Available: doi.10.1155/2016/2365609.

Interpretive Summary: Adipose tissue plays an integral role in metabolism. Excess energy intake is stored in the form of white adipose tissue, whereas brown and beige adipose tissue helps to burn the surplus energy in the form of thermogenesis. Having a potential to combat excess weight gain in obesity, brown and beige adipose tissue has to be looked at more critically. Several plants-based, pharmacological agents and environmental modifications have been documented to induce beige fat. In the current review paper, we have discussed the basic phenomenon of beiging of adipose tissue and agents to induce beiging. We summarized by stating advantages and downsides of beiging.

Technical Abstract: Non-shivering thermogenesis is the process of biological heat production in mammals and is primarily mediated by brown adipose tissue (BAT). Through ubiquitous expression of uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1) on the mitochondrial inner membrane, BAT displays uncoupling of fuel combustion and ATP production in order to dissipate energy as heat. Because of its crucial role in regulating energy homeostasis, ongoing exploration of BAT has emphasized its therapeutic potential in addressing the global epidemics of obesity and diabetes. The recent appreciation that adult humans possess functional BAT strengthens this prospect. Furthermore, it has been identified that there are both classical brown adipocytes residing in dedicated BAT depots, and "beige" adipocytes residing in white adipose tissue depots that can acquire BAT-like characteristics in response to environmental cues. This review aims to provide a brief overview of BAT research and summarize recent findings concerning the physiological, cellular, and developmental characteristics of brown adipocytes. In addition, some key genetic, molecular, and pharmacologic targets of BAT/Beige cells that have been reported to have therapeutic potential to combat obesity will be discussed.