In mammals, white adipose tissue (WAT) stores and releases lipids, whereas brown adipose tissue (BAT) oxidizes lipids to fuel thermogenesis. In obese individuals, WAT undergoes profound changes; it expands, becomes dysfunctional, and develops a low-grade inflammatory state. Importantly, BAT content and activity decline in obese subjects, mainly as a result of the conversion of brown adipocytes to white-like unilocular cells. Here, we show that BAT "whitening" is induced by multiple factors, including high ambient temperature, leptin receptor deficiency, β-adrenergic signaling impairment, and lipase deficiency, each of which is capable of inducing macrophage infiltration, brown adipocyte death, and crown-like structure (CLS) formation. Brown-to-white conversion and increased CLS formation were most marked in BAT from adipose triglyceride lipase (Atgl)-deficient mice, where, according to transmission electron microscopy, whitened brown adipocytes contained enlarged endoplasmic reticulum, cholesterol crystals, and some degenerating mitochondria, and were surrounded by an increased number of collagen fibrils. Gene expression analysis showed that BAT whitening in Atgl-deficient mice was associated to a strong inflammatory response and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Altogether, the present findings suggest that converted enlarged brown adipocytes are highly prone to death, which, by promoting inflammation in whitened BAT, may contribute to the typical inflammatory state seen in obesity.
|Titolo:||Brown adipose tissue whitening leads to brown adipocyte death and adipose tissue inflammation|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|