Fatty acids rescue the thermogenic function of sympathetically denervated brown fat
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AbstractSympathetic nervous system (SNS) innervation into brown adipose tissue (BAT) has been viewed as an impetus for brown fat thermogenesis. However, we surprisingly discovered that BAT SNS innervation is dispensable for mice to maintain proper body temperature during a prolonged cold exposure. Here we aimed to uncover the physiological factors compensating for maintaining brown fat thermogenesis in the absence of BAT innervation. After an initial decline of body temperature during cold exposure, mice with SNS surgical denervation in interscapular BAT gradually recovered their temperature comparable to that of sham-operated mice. The surgically denervated BAT also maintained a sizable uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) protein along with basal norepinephrine (NE) at a similar level to that of sham controls, which were associated with increased circulating NE. Furthermore, the denervated mice exhibited increased free fatty acid levels in circulation. Indeed, surgical denervation of mice with CGI-58 deletion in adipocytes, a model lacking lipolytic capacity to release fatty acids from WAT, dramatically reduced BAT UCP1 protein and rendered the mice suscep-tible to cold. We conclude that circulating fatty acids and NE may serve as key factors for maintaining BAT thermogenic function and body temperature in the absence of BAT sympathetic innervation. © 2021 by the authors.
SponsorsNational Institutes of Health
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/16799