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Oncol Lett. 2019 Mar;17(3):3203-3210. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.9977. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Effect of brown adipose tissue/cells on the growth of mouse hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in vivo.

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Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, P.R. China.


Activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an effective strategy for treating obesity. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a life-threatening hepatic malignancy with a high mortality rate. Considering that obesity is a risk factor for HCC, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between HCC and BAT. Using a mouse model, H22 transplantation led to an increase in liver weight, a decrease in the weight of BAT and white adipose tissue, and an increase in the serum level of triacylglycerol (TG). In the in vivo BAT excision model, the removal of BAT led to increased growth of H22 tumors, which was accompanied by a more marked increase in liver weight and in the serum level of TG. The in vitro and in vivo intervention models with primary brown adipose cells (BACs) indicated that primary BACs can directly decrease the viability of H22 cells and the growth of tumors. In conclusion, BAT is a protective organ or tissue against HCC, and BACs may be a potential therapeutic tool for the treatment of HCC.


H22 cell viability; brown adipose tissue excision; brown adipose tissues; hepatocellular carcinoma

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