Nicotinamide riboside induces a thermogenic response in lean mice

Life Sci. 2018 Oct 15;211:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2018.09.015. Epub 2018 Sep 6.


Aims: Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a NAD+ booster with wide physiological repercussion including the improvement on glucose and lipid homeostasis, increasing the life expectancy in mammals. However, the effects of NR on metabolism are only partially known. Here, we evaluated the effects of NR on the thermogenic response, highlighting the brown adipose tissue (BAT) in lean mice.

Main methods: Male C57BL/67 mice were supplement with NR (400 mg/Kg/day) during 5 weeks. The Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System (CLAMS) and thermographic images were used to evaluated the physiological effects of NR treatment. The BAT were extracted and analyzed by Western Blotting and qPCR. Also, bioinformatics analyses were performed to establish the connection between the NAD+ synthesis pathway in BAT and thermogenic response in several isogenic strains of BXD mice.

Key findings: Transcriptomic analysis revealed that genes involved in NAD+ synthesis (Nampt and Nmnat1) in the BAT were negatively correlated with body weight and fat mass. The heat map showed a strong positive correlation between Nampt and Ucp1 mRNA in BAT and body temperature in several strains of BXD lean mice. The experimental approaches demonstrated that oral NR supplementation reduced the abdominal visceral fat depots, with discrete impact on oxygen consumption in C57BL/6J mice. Interestingly, NR significantly increased the body temperature, and this phenomenon was accompanied by high levels of UCP1 protein content and Pgc1α mRNA in BAT.

Significance: This study demonstrated the oral NR supplementation was sufficient to induce the thermogenic response in lean mice changing the BAT metabolism.

Keywords: Brown adipose tissue; Nicotinamide riboside; Thermogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / physiology*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Niacinamide / administration & dosage
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Niacinamide / pharmacology
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / genetics
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Nicotinamide-Nucleotide Adenylyltransferase / genetics
  • Nicotinamide-Nucleotide Adenylyltransferase / metabolism
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • Thermogenesis / drug effects*
  • Thinness / drug therapy*
  • Thinness / metabolism
  • Thinness / pathology
  • Uncoupling Protein 1 / genetics
  • Uncoupling Protein 1 / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • nicotinamide-beta-riboside
  • Niacinamide
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, mouse
  • Nicotinamide-Nucleotide Adenylyltransferase
  • Nmnat1 protein, mouse