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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;456:109-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-245-8_8.

Studies of thermogenesis and mitochondrial function in adipose tissues.

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The Wenner-Gren Institute, The Arrhenius Laboratories F3, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.


Brown and white adipose tissues in mammals have a number of similar properties, such as lipid storage and adipokine production, but also distinctive properties. The energy-storing white adipose tissue has few mitochondria and low oxidative capacity. The heat-producing brown adipose tissue has a high density of mitochondria and high oxidative capacity. Mitochondrial function can be investigated in cells and organelles isolated from both brown and white adipose tissues. This chapter describes methods for successful isolation of suitable preparations of adipose tissues and their subsequent use. Questions concerning thermogenic capacity of the tissues, their potential influence on whole body metabolism, and specific properties of the mitochondria and their mode of function may be addressed using these methods.

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