A new era for brown adipose tissue: New insights into brown adipocyte function and differentiation

Arch Physiol Biochem. 2011 Jul;117(3):195-208. doi: 10.3109/13813455.2011.560951. Epub 2011 Mar 23.


Until quite recently, brown adipose tissue was considered of metabolic significance only in small mammals and human newborns, since it was thought to disappear rapidly after birth in humans. However, nowadays this tissue is known to play a role in the regulation of energy balance not only in rodents, but also in humans. In this review we highlight new features regarding brown adipose tissue origin and function and revise old paradigms about brown adipocyte differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes, Brown / cytology
  • Adipocytes, Brown / physiology*
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / cytology*
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / physiology*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue, White / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Humans
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy