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Biomol Concepts. 2012 Aug;3(4):381-386.

Orexin modulates brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.

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Department of Neurological Surgery Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR 97239.


Non-shivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays an important role in thermoregulation. In addition, activations of BAT have important implications for energy homeostasis due to the metabolic consumption of energy reserves entailed in the production of heat in this tissue. In this conceptual overview we describe the role of orexins/hypocretins within the central nervous system in the modulation of thermogenesis in BAT under several physiological conditions. Within this framework, we consider potential neural mechanisms underlying the pathological conditions associated with the absence of the central orexinergic modulation of BAT thermogenesis and energy expenditure. Overall, the experimental basis for our understanding of the role of central orexin in regulating body temperature and energy homeostasis provides an illustrative example that highlights several general principles and caveats that should help to guide future investigations of the neurochemical regulation of thermogenesis and metabolism.

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