Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brown adipose tissue has beneficial effects on metabolism and glucose tolerance

Date:
December 10, 2012
Source:
Joslin Diabetes Center
Summary:
Joslin Diabetes Center scientists have demonstrated that brown adipose tissue (BAT) has beneficial effects on glucose tolerance, body weight and metabolism.

Joslin Diabetes Center scientists have demonstrated that brown adipose tissue (BAT) has beneficial effects on glucose tolerance, body weight and metabolism. The findings, which may lead to new treatments for diabetes, appear in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Unlike the more prevalent white adipose tissue (WAT or white fat) which stores fat, BAT (or brown fat) burns fat to produce heat. Studies in mice and humans have suggested that BAT also plays a role in regulating body weight and metabolism. This has made BAT the focus of considerable interest among scientists and pharmaceutical companies who are investigating ways to use BAT as a treatment for obesity.

The Joslin researchers were interested in learning whether BAT is involved in glucose metabolism and uncovering the mechanisms underlying BAT's effects on metabolism and body weight. The study involved the transplantation of BAT from male donor mice into the visceral cavities of mice which were fed a standard or high-fat diet.

By eight to twelve weeks following transplantation, the BAT-transplanted mice fed a normal diet showed improved glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity, lower body weights and decreased fat mass. Three control groups, which had a WAT transplant, a glass bead implant or surgery without transplantation, did not show any metabolic improvements. "We were able to establish that BAT transplantation affects metabolism. This study provides further evidence that BAT is a very important metabolic organ and a potential treatment for obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance," says lead author Kristin I. Stanford, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism.

The mice fed a high-fat diet also exhibited beneficial effects from BAT transplantation, including improved glucose metabolism, decreased body weight and a complete reversal of insulin resistance resulting from excess fat consumption. Previous studies of BAT transplantation in mice, which transplanted BAT in a different location and had a shorter duration, did not show beneficial effects.

The transplanted BAT affected metabolism throughout the body by increasing levels of circulating Interleukin-6 (IL-6). The researchers also found that BAT transplantation increased norepinephrine and FGF-21. IL-6 has been shown in previous studies to increase energy production and decrease body weight. When the researchers transplanted BAT from donor mice genetically engineered not to produce IL-6, the mice who received the transplants showed no metabolic improvements. "This is the first study to demonstrate that an increase in BAT significantly increases levels of circulating IL-6. It suggests that an increase in BAT-derived IL-6 improves glucose metabolism throughout the body," says senior author Laurie J. Goodyear, PhD, head of the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism.

The researchers are following up on the study by "looking into other ways BAT may have beneficial metabolic effects and further investigating the functions of IL-6 and other BAT-derived hormones," says Dr. Goodyear. Dr. Stanford is studying the relationship between BAT and type 1 diabetes (T1D), based on data from a collaborator that suggests that BAT may help control glucose in T1D.

Dr. Goodyear and the research team are very interested in using their findings to develop new therapies for diabetes. "We hope that manipulating BAT will help people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes," says Dr. Goodyear.

Study co-authors include: Roeland J. W. Middelbeek, Kristy L. Townsend, Ding An, Eva B. Nygaard, Kristen M. Hitchcox, Kathleen R. Markan, Kazuhiro Nakano, Michael F. Hirshman, Yu-Hua Tseng, all of Joslin Diabetes Center.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Joslin Diabetes Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kristin I. Stanford, Roeland J.W. Middelbeek, Kristy L. Townsend, Ding An, Eva B. Nygaard, Kristen M. Hitchcox, Kathleen R. Markan, Kazuhiro Nakano, Michael F. Hirshman, Yu-Hua Tseng, Laurie J. Goodyear. Brown adipose tissue regulates glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2012; DOI: 10.1172/JCI62308

Cite This Page:

Joslin Diabetes Center. "Brown adipose tissue has beneficial effects on metabolism and glucose tolerance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210124208.htm>.
Joslin Diabetes Center. (2012, December 10). Brown adipose tissue has beneficial effects on metabolism and glucose tolerance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210124208.htm
Joslin Diabetes Center. "Brown adipose tissue has beneficial effects on metabolism and glucose tolerance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210124208.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins