Niels Jessen

Brown adipose tissue as a potential therapeutic target in obesity therapy

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Strategies to curb the increase in obesity are warranted in order to effectively prevent its associated metabolic complications. Activation of the thermogenic capacity of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in combination with a stable energy intake is a promising approach to effectively reduce body weight. Recent scientific advances have demonstrated that BAT can be found in adult humans and that human BAT is metabolically activated by exposure to a cold environment. In rodents, inducible forms of brown or beige adipocytes can be stimulated pharmacologically, and it is thereby possible to increase BAT mass. In humans, prolonged catecholamine stimulation, as observed in patients with pheochromocytoma and severe burns, can be associated with vast increases in brown adipocyte cell number. These findings indicate that in humans, stimulation of BAT activity and recruitment of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-positive cells can be achieved by adrenergic stimulation. In addition, factors like interleukin 6, irisin, and thyroid hormones may have similar capabilities to stimulate BAT. BAT therefore is an intriguing target for the control of whole-body energy balance, adiposity, and obesity.

TidsskriftHeart and Metabolism
Sider (fra-til)21-25
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2016

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