Document Detail

Brown adipose tissue oxidative metabolism contributes to energy expenditure during acute cold exposure in humans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22269323     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is vital for proper thermogenesis during cold exposure in rodents, but until recently its presence in adult humans and its contribution to human metabolism were thought to be minimal or insignificant. Recent studies using PET with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG) have shown the presence of BAT in adult humans. However, whether BAT contributes to cold-induced nonshivering thermogenesis in humans has not been proven. Using PET with 11C-acetate, 18FDG, and 18F-fluoro-thiaheptadecanoic acid (18FTHA), a fatty acid tracer, we have quantified BAT oxidative metabolism and glucose and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) turnover in 6 healthy men under controlled cold exposure conditions. All subjects displayed substantial NEFA and glucose uptake upon cold exposure. Furthermore, we demonstrated cold-induced activation of oxidative metabolism in BAT, but not in adjoining skeletal muscles and subcutaneous adipose tissue. This activation was associated with an increase in total energy expenditure. We found an inverse relationship between BAT activity and shivering. We also observed an increase in BAT radio density upon cold exposure, indicating reduced BAT triglyceride content. In sum, our study provides evidence that BAT acts as a nonshivering thermogenesis effector in humans.
Véronique Ouellet; Sébastien M Labbé; Denis P Blondin; Serge Phoenix; Brigitte Guérin; François Haman; Eric E Turcotte; Denis Richard; André C Carpentier
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-01-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of clinical investigation     Volume:  122     ISSN:  1558-8238     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Clin. Invest.     Publication Date:  2012 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-02-01     Completed Date:  2012-04-20     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7802877     Medline TA:  J Clin Invest     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  545-52     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism*
Blood Glucose / metabolism
Body Temperature
Body Temperature Regulation / physiology
Cold Temperature*
Energy Metabolism / physiology*
Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism
Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / metabolism
Positron-Emission Tomography
Thermogenesis / physiology*
Young Adult
Grant Support
//Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Blood Glucose; 0/Fatty Acids, Nonesterified; 63503-12-8/Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
Comment In:
J Clin Invest. 2012 Feb 1;122(2):486-9   [PMID:  22269320 ]

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