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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Nov;26(11):657-668. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2015.09.008. Epub 2015 Oct 17.

Neuronal Control of Brown Fat Activity.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, and Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, the Netherlands.
2
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, and Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, the Netherlands. Electronic address: P.C.N.Rensen@lumc.nl.

Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) activation reduces body fat and metabolic disorders by the enhanced combustion of lipids and glucose into heat. The thermogenic activity of brown adipocytes is primarily driven by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and controlled by the brain. In this review, we present recent advances in understanding how cues, such as temperature, light, and proteins, modulate the activity of brown fat by acting on the various hypothalamic nuclei. Given that activated BAT has a high capacity to take up and burn fatty acids (FAs) and glucose, pharmacological stimulation of brown fat in humans by either targeting the hypothalamus or mimicking outflow of the sympathetic nervous system might help improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, and also lower body fat.

KEYWORDS:

Brown adipose tissue; hypothalamus; sympathetic nervous system; thermogenesis; uncoupling protein 1

PMID:
26482876
DOI:
10.1016/j.tem.2015.09.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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