Increasing energy expenditure through activation of endogenous brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a potential approach to treat obesity and diabetes. The class of β3-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonists stimulates rodent BAT, but this activity has never been demonstrated in humans. Here we determined the ability of 200 mg oral mirabegron (Myrbetriq, Astellas Pharma, Inc.), a β3-AR agonist currently approved to treat overactive bladder, to stimulate BAT as compared to placebo. Mirabegron led to higher BAT metabolic activity as measured via (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) using positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) in all twelve healthy male subjects (p = 0.001), and it increased resting metabolic rate (RMR) by 203 ± 40 kcal/day (+13%; p = 0.001). BAT metabolic activity was also a significant predictor of the changes in RMR (p = 0.006). Therefore, a β3-AR agonist can stimulate human BAT thermogenesis and may be a promising treatment for metabolic disease.
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