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Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 27;7:11420. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11420.

Exosomal microRNA miR-92a concentration in serum reflects human brown fat activity.

Author information

1
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Hospital Bonn, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud Strasse 25, 53127 Bonn, Germany.
2
Research Training Group 1873, University of Bonn, Bonn 53127, Germany.
3
Department of Human Biology &Human Movement Sciences, NUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf 20246, Germany.
5
Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (B-IT), Institute for Computer Science, University of Bonn, Bonn 53113, Germany.
6
Turku PET Center, Turku University Hospital, Turku 20520, Finland.
7
Turku PET Center, University of Turku, Turku 20520, Finland.
8
PharmaCenter, University of Bonn, Bonn 53127, Germany.

Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy and its activity correlates with leanness in human adults. (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography coupled with computer tomography (PET/CT) is still the standard for measuring BAT activity, but exposes subjects to ionizing radiation. To study BAT function in large human cohorts, novel diagnostic tools are needed. Here we show that brown adipocytes release exosomes and that BAT activation increases exosome release. Profiling miRNAs in exosomes released from brown adipocytes, and in exosomes isolated from mouse serum, we show that levels of miRNAs change after BAT activation in vitro and in vivo. One of these exosomal miRNAs, miR-92a, is also present in human serum exosomes. Importantly, serum concentrations of exosomal miR-92a inversely correlate with human BAT activity measured by (18)F-FDG PET/CT in two unique and independent cohorts comprising 41 healthy individuals. Thus, exosomal miR-92a represents a potential serum biomarker for BAT activity in mice and humans.

Comment in

PMID:
27117818
PMCID:
PMC4853423
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms11420
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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