Transcriptional control of brown adipocyte development and physiological function--of mice and men.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Genes & development (Impact Factor: 12.64). 05/2009; 23(7):788-97. DOI: 10.1101/gad.1779209
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The last several years have seen an explosion of information relating to the transcriptional control of brown fat cell development. At the same time, new data have emerged that clearly demonstrate that adult humans do indeed have substantial amounts of functioning brown adipose tissue (BAT). Together, these advances are stimulating a reassessment of the role of brown adipose tissue in human physiology and pathophysiology. These data have also opened up exciting new opportunities for the development of entirely novel classes of therapeutics for metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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    ABSTRACT: In mammals, white adipose tissue (WAT) store energy, whereas brown adipose tissue (BAT) burns energy. As a thermogenic organ, BAT can help maintain body temperature during cold exposure. Owing to its important roles in energy metabolism and regulating triacylglycerol levels, BAT has received great attention in treating obesity and its related diseases. Recent studies have suggested that BAT may secrete factor(s)—batokines—to regulate whole-body energy metabolism. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the formation and function of BAT, as well as molecules that regulate the activity of BAT and beige fat.
    Chinese Science Bulletin 11/2014; 59(31). · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In humans, two functionally different types of adipose tissue coexist, white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT is involved in energy storage while BAT is involved in energy expenditure. Increased amounts of WAT may contribute to the development of metabolic disorders, such as obesity-associated type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular diseases. In contrast, the thermogenic function of BAT allows high consumption of fatty acids due to the activity of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in the internal mitochondrial membrane. Interestingly, obesity reduction and insulin sensitization have been achieved by BAT activation/regeneration in animal models.This review describes the origin, function and differentiation mechanisms of BAT in order to identify new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of metabolic disorders related to obesity. Based on animal studies, novel approaches for BAT regeneration combining stem cells from the adipose tissue with active components, such as melatonin, may have potential for the treatment of metabolic disorders in humans.
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