Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly-discovered human fat cell opens up new opportunities for future treatment of obesity

Date:
May 2, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
The body's brown fat cells play a key role in the development of obesity and diabetes. Researchers have now discovered that we humans have two different kinds of brown fat cells and not one kind as previously thought. This discovery opens up new opportunities for future medicines that exploit the brown fat cells' ability to consume calories.

A brown fat cell photographed via microscope.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Gothenburg

The body's brown fat cells play a key role in the development of obesity and diabetes. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have now discovered that we humans have two different kinds of brown fat cells and not one kind as previously thought. This discovery, now published in Nature Medicine, opens up new opportunities for future medicines that exploit the brown fat cells' ability to consume calories.

Unlike white fat cells, which store the body's surplus energy in the form of fat, brown fat cells have the unique property of being able to burn energy and turn it into heat.

The study now published by the researchers at the University of Gothenburg shows for the first time that people have at least two different kinds of brown fat cells -- not just one as was previously thought. According to Sven Enerbäck, who heads the country's leading research group in the study of fat cells and metabolism, this is an interesting discovery.

"We already know that those of us who have more brown fat tissue have a smaller risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With these new results, we should eventually be able to develop methods for stimulating the brown fat tissue, so that some of the surplus energy we store in the form of fat tissue can be converted into heat. Such a treatment could both prevent obesity and reduce the risk of developing obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes," says Sven Enerbäck.

The researchers call the new type of brown fat tissue that they have discovered "classical brown fat." According to the Gothenburg study, young people have this classic brown fat tissue, but it seems to disappear during adolescence.

"One idea is to be able to "reactivate" the classical brown fat tissue in older people and so treat obesity," says Sven Enerbäck.

The research into brown fat tissue is being done in close cooperation with researchers at Linköping University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Krister Svahn. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martin E Lidell, Matthias J Betz, Olof Dahlqvist Leinhard, Mikael Heglind, Louise Elander, Marc Slawik, Thomas Mussack, Daniel Nilsson, Thobias Romu, Pirjo Nuutila, Kirsi A Virtanen, Felix Beuschlein, Anders Persson, Magnus Borga, Sven Enerbäck. Evidence for two types of brown adipose tissue in humans. Nature Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3017

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Newly-discovered human fat cell opens up new opportunities for future treatment of obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502081745.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, May 2). Newly-discovered human fat cell opens up new opportunities for future treatment of obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502081745.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Newly-discovered human fat cell opens up new opportunities for future treatment of obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502081745.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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