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Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Jul;32(14):2871-9. doi: 10.1128/MCB.06575-11. Epub 2012 May 14.

Blockade of the activin receptor IIb activates functional brown adipogenesis and thermogenesis by inducing mitochondrial oxidative metabolism.

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  • 1MusculoSkeletal Diseases, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a key tissue for energy expenditure via fat and glucose oxidation for thermogenesis. In this study, we demonstrate that the myostatin/activin receptor IIB (ActRIIB) pathway, which serves as an important negative regulator of muscle growth, is also a negative regulator of brown adipocyte differentiation. In parallel to the anticipated hypertrophy of skeletal muscle, the pharmacological inhibition of ActRIIB in mice, using a neutralizing antibody, increases the amount of BAT without directly affecting white adipose tissue. Mechanistically, inhibition of ActRIIB inhibits Smad3 signaling and activates the expression of myoglobin and PGC-1 coregulators in brown adipocytes. Consequently, ActRIIB blockade in brown adipose tissue enhances mitochondrial function and uncoupled respiration, translating into beneficial functional consequences, including enhanced cold tolerance and increased energy expenditure. Importantly, ActRIIB inhibition enhanced energy expenditure only at ambient temperature or in the cold and not at thermoneutrality, where nonshivering thermogenesis is minimal, strongly suggesting that brown fat activation plays a prominent role in the metabolic actions of ActRIIB inhibition.

PMID:
22586266
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3416189
Free PMC Article

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