Novel Systemic Regulation of Brown Adipose Tissue Thermogenesis




Ghaben, Alexandra L.

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Much of the research to date on thermogenic adipocyte function has focused on the response of adipocytes to adrenergic perturbation, or cell-autonomous changes in genetics. In reality, the response to cold is a complex physiologic stimulus involving changes in systemic energy status coordinated by circulating hormones. Here, I focus on two hormones with well-established roles in systemic metabolism: Insulin, and Adiponectin. This dissertation outlines a novel role of insulin signaling as an enhancer of thermogenesis, separate and synergistic with existing adrenergic signaling. I also describe a role of the adipocyte-derived hormone adiponectin as a key mediator of thermogenic adaptation. Together, these findings broaden our understanding of how brown adipocytes coordinate with systemic metabolism in the course of thermogenic adaptation, and provide key insight when developing future anti-obesity therapeutics aimed at enhancing thermogenesis.

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