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Cell Rep. 2015 Nov 24;13(8):1528-37. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.10.022. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Pharmacological Activation of Thyroid Hormone Receptors Elicits a Functional Conversion of White to Brown Fat.

Author information

1
Diabetes and Metabolic Disease Program, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004, USA.
2
Diabetes and Metabolic Disease Program, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Escuela de Biotecnología y Alimentos, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, 64849 Monterrey, NL, Mexico.
3
Diabetes and Metabolic Disease Program, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
4
Comparative Medicine Program, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
5
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
6
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address: kevinp@bcm.edu.

Abstract

The functional conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) into a tissue with brown adipose tissue (BAT)-like activity, often referred to as "browning," represents an intriguing strategy for combating obesity and metabolic disease. We demonstrate that thyroid hormone receptor (TR) activation by a synthetic agonist markedly induces a program of adaptive thermogenesis in subcutaneous WAT that coincides with a restoration of cold tolerance to cold-intolerant mice. Distinct from most other browning agents, pharmacological TR activation dissociates the browning of WAT from activation of classical BAT. TR agonism also induces the browning of white adipocytes in vitro, indicating that TR-mediated browning is cell autonomous. These data establish TR agonists as a class of browning agents, implicate the TRs in the browning of WAT, and suggest a profound pharmacological potential of this action.

PMID:
26586443
PMCID:
PMC4662916
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2015.10.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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