Eureka 2019: MRI & Brown Adipose Fat Activity

For the fifth year in a row, Endocrine News spoke with editors from Endocrine Society journals to get the scoop on the top endocrine discoveries of 2019. Here is part 5 of Eureka! 2019.

Journal of the Endocrine Society editor-in-chief J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine, and executive vice president for the Health System at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia highlights “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Reveals Human Brown Adipose Tissue Is Rapidly Activated in Response to Cold,” by Steinberg, G.R. and Morrison, K.M., et. al., from October.

“Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an important source of thermogenesis and energy, particularly in response to cold. Studies in humans have been somewhat limited by appropriate methodologies,” Jameson says. Accordingly, researchers recruited 12 healthy young men between the ages of 18 to 29 years for a first visit during which body measurements were taken and a second comprising sequential cold and warm exposures and simultaneous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). BAT was rapidly activated in response to cold, likely mediated by triacylglycerol lipolysis.

“Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an important source of thermogenesis and energy, particularly in response to cold. Studies in humans have been somewhat limited by appropriate methodologies.”

“This study suggests that MRI techniques can provide measurements of BAT activity in humans,” Jameson says.

 

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