Brown Adipose Tissue Improves Whole Body Glucose Homeostasis and Insulin Sensitivity in Humans

  1. Labros S. Sidossis1,3,4,5,6,7
  1. 1Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospital for Children, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  2. 2Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  3. 3Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  4. 4Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, Athens, 176 71, Greece
  5. 5Institute for Translational Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  6. 6Sealy Center on Aging, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  7. 7Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  8. 8Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  9. 9Department of Interventional Radiology University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  10. 10Department of Medical and Clinical Genetics, Institute of Biomedicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, S-405 30, Sweden
  11. 11Quebec Heart and Lung Research Institute Centre, Quebec City, Quebec,G1V 4G5, Canada
  12. 12Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  13. 13Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A
  14. 14Department of Pathology, Shriners Hospital for Children, Galveston, TX, 77555-0177, U.S.A.
  1. Corresponding Author: Labros S. Sidossis, Email: lasidoss{at}utmb.edu.

Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has attracted scientific interest as an anti-diabetic tissue owning to its ability to dissipate energy as heat. Despite a plethora of data concerning the role of BAT in glucose metabolism in rodents, the role of BAT (if any) in glucose metabolism in humans remains unssclear. To investigate whether BAT activation alters whole-body glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in humans, we studied 7 BAT positive (BAT+) men and 5 BAT negative (BAT-) men under thermoneutral conditions and after prolonged (5-8 h) cold exposure (CE). The two groups were similar in age, body mass index, and adiposity. CE significantly increased resting energy expenditure, whole-body glucose disposal, plasma glucose oxidation, and insulin sensitivity in the BAT+ group only. These results demonstrate a physiologically significant role of BAT in whole-body energy expenditure, glucose homeostasis, and insulin sensitivity in humans and support the notion that BAT may function as an anti-diabetic tissue in humans.

  • Received May 10, 2014.
  • Accepted July 10, 2014.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

This Article

  1. Diabetes
  1. Supplementary Data
  2. All Versions of this Article:
    1. db14-0746v1
    2. 63/12/4089 most recent