A1 Journal article – refereed
Brown adipose tissue function is accompanied by cerebral activation in lean but not in obese humans

List of Authors: Orava J, Nummenmaa L, Noponen T, Viljanen T, Parkkola R, Nuutila P, Virtanen KA
Publisher: ISCBFM
Place: 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814 USA
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Journal acronym: J Cereb Blood Flow Metab
Volume number: 34
Number of pages: 6


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is able to generate heat and dissipate energy in response to cold exposure in mammals. It has recently been acknowledged that adult humans also have functional BAT, whose metabolic activity is reduced in obesity. In healthy humans, the cerebral mechanisms that putatively control BAT function are unclear. By using positron emission tomography (PET), we showed that cold-induced BAT activation is associated with glucose metabolism in the cerebellum, thalamus, and cingulate, temporoparietal, lateral frontal, and occipital cortices in lean participants, whereas no such associations were found under warm control conditions. The cold-induced increase in cerebral glucose metabolism was more robust in lean than obese participants. Cerebral glucose metabolism was not associated with skeletal muscle or white adipose tissue glucose uptake under warm or cold conditions. In conclusion, BAT metabolism was accompanied by the activation of specific cerebral regions, and this shows an uncharacterized role that the brain plays in the regulation of BAT function. In obese participants, the cold-induced response in cerebral activity was attenuated that provides a clue for obesity-induced impairment in BAT metabolism.


brain; brown adipose tissue; cold; glucose uptake; obesity; positron emission tomography


Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 20:59