Functional Brown Adipose Tissue in Healthy Adults

N Engl J Med. 2009 Apr 9;360(15):1518-25. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa0808949.

Abstract

Using positron-emission tomography (PET), we found that cold-induced glucose uptake was increased by a factor of 15 in paracervical and supraclavicular adipose tissue in five healthy subjects. We obtained biopsy specimens of this tissue from the first three consecutive subjects and documented messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of the brown-adipocyte marker, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Together with morphologic assessment, which showed numerous multilocular, intracellular lipid droplets, and with the results of biochemical analysis, these findings document the presence of substantial amounts of metabolically active brown adipose tissue in healthy adult humans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes, Brown / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism*
  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Cold Temperature
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacokinetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Markers / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / genetics
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Up-Regulation

Substances

  • Genetic Markers
  • Ion Channels
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • UCP1 protein, human
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18