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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-28

Brown adipose tissue in adult humans: A mini review


1 Department of Biochemistry, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Medicine, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
V S Kiranmayi
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JCSR.JCSR_35_19

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Adipose tissue is of two types: white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). For a long time, it was considered that BAT is present only in hibernating animals and newborns, conferring them a protection from the cold environment. However, radionuclide imaging studies have shown that BAT is also present in adult human beings and plays an important role in energy metabolism. This has resulted in a resurgence of interest on BAT in the researchers. The molecular mechanisms underlying the thermogenic role of BAT and various factors that can induce the formation and activity of BAT are being explored. The thermogenic effect of BAT is mediated by uncoupling protein 1, also known as thermogenin. Several factors such as exposure to cold, stimulation by sympathetic nervous system, thyroid hormones and other endocrine factors induce brown adipogenesis and its activity. An inverse relationship exists between BAT and body weight. The increasing prevalence of obesity globally and its association with various complications makes it essential to search for therapeutic strategies to prevent and treat obesity. In this regard, BAT with its ability to dissipate energy in the form of heat appears to be a potential therapeutic target for the management of obesity.


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