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Cell Metab. 2015 Aug 4;22(2):219-27. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.06.022.

Browning of Subcutaneous White Adipose Tissue in Humans after Severe Adrenergic Stress.

Author information

1
Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston, 815 Market Street, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, El. Venizelou 70, Kallithea 176 76, Greece; Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Institute of Translational Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA. Electronic address: lasidoss@utmb.edu.
2
Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston, 815 Market Street, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.
3
Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.
4
Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston, 815 Market Street, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Healthy, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.
5
Institute of Translational Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA; Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.
6
Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.
7
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.

Abstract

Since the presence of brown adipose tissue (BAT) was confirmed in adult humans, BAT has become a therapeutic target for obesity and insulin resistance. We examined whether human subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) can adopt a BAT-like phenotype using a clinical model of prolonged and severe adrenergic stress. sWAT samples were collected from severely burned and healthy individuals. A subset of burn victims were prospectively followed during their acute hospitalization. Browning of sWAT was determined by the presence of multilocular adipocytes, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), and increased mitochondrial density and respiratory capacity. Multilocular UCP1-positive adipocytes were found in sWAT samples from burn patients. UCP1 mRNA, mitochondrial density, and leak respiratory capacity in sWAT increased after burn trauma. Our data demonstrate that human sWAT can transform from an energy-storing to an energy-dissipating tissue, which opens new research avenues in our quest to prevent and treat obesity and its metabolic complications.

PMID:
26244931
PMCID:
PMC4541608
DOI:
10.1016/j.cmet.2015.06.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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