May 16, 2020

The role of brown adipose tissue and the thermogenic adipocytes in glucose metabolism: recent advances and open questions

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Maria Chondronikola

Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the thermogenic adipocytes in white adipose tissue (WAT) are considered emerging targets against obesity-related metabolic perturbations given their high capacity for thermogenesis and glucose and lipid disposal. This manuscript summarizes and critically evaluates the recent advances on the role of BAT and thermogenic adipocytes in glucose homeostasis in humans. Recent studies support that BAT has high capacity for glucose disposal not only during cold but during rewarming and thermoneutrality as well. Moreover, BAT is now considered a metabolic sink for the disposal of branched-chain amino acids improving whole-body glucose metabolism in rodents and, potentially, in humans. β3 adrenergic agonism and glucagon-like peptide 1 increase BAT metabolic activity for glucose and/or induce the browning of WAT. Finally, recent findings support the association of glucose disposal in BAT with subclinical atherosclerosis and the reproducibility of two advanced medical imaging methods for the assessment of BAT using a glucose radiotracer. Recent studies provide new insights on the role of human BAT and thermogenic adipocytes in glucose metabolism. However, further research is needed to unequivocally establish t...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Drug Agonism
Glucose Homeostasis
Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
Thermogenesis
White Adipose Tissue
Brown Fat
Glucose
Whole Body
Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
Lipids

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