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Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 6;10(1):4037. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12004-z.

Central nicotine induces browning through hypothalamic κ opioid receptor.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, CiMUS, University of Santiago de Compostela-Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
2
CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), 28029, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
3
Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital de Girona Dr Josep Trueta, Institut D'investigació Biomèdica de Girona (IdIBGi) and University of Girona, 17007, Girona, Spain.
4
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PT, UK.
5
Department of Morphological Sciences, CiMUS, University of Santiago de Compostela-Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
6
CIBER Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), 28029, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
7
Clinical Neurosciences Research Laboratory, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
8
Department of Pharmacology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 52242, USA.
9
Obesity Laboratory, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, 2780-156, Oeiras, Portugal.
10
Department of Basic Sciences of Health, Area of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, 28922, Alcorcon-Madrid, Spain.
11
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 52242, USA.
12
Department of Physiology, CiMUS, University of Santiago de Compostela-Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. carlos.dieguez@usc.es.
13
CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), 28029, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. carlos.dieguez@usc.es.
14
Department of Physiology, CiMUS, University of Santiago de Compostela-Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. m.lopez@usc.es.
15
CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), 28029, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. m.lopez@usc.es.

Abstract

Increased body weight is a major factor that interferes with smoking cessation. Nicotine, the main bioactive compound in tobacco, has been demonstrated to have an impact on energy balance, since it affects both feeding and energy expenditure at the central level. Among the central actions of nicotine on body weight, much attention has been focused on its effect on brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis, though its effect on browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) is unclear. Here, we show that nicotine induces the browning of WAT through a central mechanism and that this effect is dependent on the κ opioid receptor (KOR), specifically in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA). Consistent with these findings, smokers show higher levels of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression in WAT, which correlates with smoking status. These data demonstrate that central nicotine-induced modulation of WAT browning may be a target against human obesity.

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