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Front Med. 2015 Jun;9(2):162-72. doi: 10.1007/s11684-015-0382-2. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

Brown and beige fat: the metabolic function, induction, and therapeutic potential.

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Key Laboratory of Metabolism and Molecular Medicine, the Ministry of Education; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai, 200032, China.


Adipose tissue is an important organ for energy homeostasis. White adipose tissue stores energy in the form of triglycerides, whereas brown adipocytes and recently identified beige adipocytes are specialized in dissipating energy by thermogenesis or contribution to dispose glucose and clear triglycerides in blood. The inverse correlation between the brown adipose tissue activity and body mass suggests its protective role against body fat accumulation. Thus, recruitment and activation of brown or beige adipose tissue become particularly appealing targets for increasing energy expenditure. Angiogenesis and sympathetic nerve signals are the fundamental determinants for brown and beige adipose tissue development, as well as for their metabolic functions. Secretary factors including BMPs can induce the development, the activation of brown or beige adipose tissue, which seem to be promising for therapeutic development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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