Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Activated Brown Fat Controls Obesity and Metabolic Disorders

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 08 May 2013
Image: First author Dr. Aaron Cypess is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (Photo courtesy of Joslin Diabetes Center, Beth Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University Medical School).
Image: First author Dr. Aaron Cypess is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (Photo courtesy of Joslin Diabetes Center, Beth Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University Medical School).
Researchers speculate that the development of new drugs to activate human brown adipose tissue (BAT) could lead to safe treatments for obesity and metabolic disorders.

White adipose tissue (WAT) stores excess calories, while BAT consumes molecular fuel for thermogenesis (heat generation) using the tissue-specific enzyme UCP1(uncoupling protein 1).

Investigators at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) delved into the genetic expression and protein activities found in BAT to determine its possible future role in the treatment of obesity. To this end, they isolated neck fat from adult human volunteers and compared its gene expression, differentiation capacity, basal oxygen consumption, and oxygen consumption rate (OCR), to different mouse adipose depots.

Among findings reported in the April 21, 2013, online edition of the journal Nature Medicine was that the OCR of the human BAT cells from the deep location in the neck next to the longus colli was nearly 50% of the rate found for mouse BAT cells. In contrast, the OCR of human WAT was only one-hundredth of the OCR found in the most active human BAT from the longus colli depot.

The investigators established a protocol for growth in culture of new functional BAT cells (adipocytes) by differentiating precursor cells (preadipocytes) derived from both superficial and deep human neck fat tissue. When stimulated, these cells expressed the same genes as naturally occurring brown fat cells. The use of brown fat cells produced in vitro will encourage development of drugs and other treatments that increase BAT activity for the correction of obesity and other metabolic disorders.

“BAT is most abundant in the deep locations of the neck, close to the sympathetic chain and the carotid arteries, where it likely helps to warm blood and raise body temperature,” said first author Dr. Aaron M. Cypess, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Now that we know where brown fat is, we can easily collect more cells for further study.”

“Our research has significant practical applications. If we stimulate the growth of brown fat in people, it may burn their white fat and help them lose weight, which lessens insulin resistance and improves diabetes,” said Dr. Cypess.

Related Links:

Harvard Medical School



Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel

Curcumin Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Curcumin, a natural substance found in the spice turmeric, has been used by many Asian cultures for centuries. Now, new research suggests that a close chemical analog of curcumin has properties that may make it useful as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. “Curcumin has demonstrated ability to enter the brain, bind... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Blocking Enzyme Switch Turns Off Tumor Growth in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Researchers recently reported that blocking the action of an enzyme “switch” needed to activate tumor growth is emerging as a practical strategy for treating T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An estimated 25% of the 500 US adolescents and young adults diagnosed yearly with this aggressive disease fail to respond to... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Cancer cells infected with tumor-targeted oncolytic virus (red). Green indicates alpha-tubulin, a cell skeleton protein. Blue is DNA in the cancer cell nuclei (Photo courtesy of Dr. Rathi Gangeswaran, Bart’s Cancer Institute).

Innovative “Viro-Immunotherapy” Designed to Kill Breast Cancer Cells

A leading scientist has devised a new treatment that employs viruses to kill breast cancer cells. The research could lead to a promising “viro-immunotherapy” for patients with triple-negative breast cancer,... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: MIT researchers have designed a microfluidic device that allows them to precisely trap pairs of cells (one red, one green) and observe how they interact over time (Photo courtesy of Burak Dura, MIT).

New Device Designed to See Communication between Immune Cells

The immune system is a complicated network of many different cells working together to defend against invaders. Effectively combating an infection depends on the interactions between these cells.... Read more

Business

view channel

Program Designed to Provide High-Performance Computing Cluster Systems for Bioinformatics Research

Dedicated Computing (Waukesha, WI, USA), a global technology company, reported that it will be participating in the Intel Cluster Ready program to deliver integrated high-performance computing cluster solutions to the life sciences market. Powered by Intel Xeon processors, Dedicated Computing is providing a range of... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.