WIKIMEDIA, WELLCOME IMAGESRamping up the reported energy-burning activity of brown fat is an intriguing therapeutic concept to help people lose excess weight. Scientists have explored methods such as shivering and administering brown fat-activating molecules. In the latest in a series of studies on transplanting brown fat, a team lead by investigators in China has found that animals destined to become obese don’t gain as much weight after a single injection of brown fat from a donor animal.
“This is the first study showing that BAT [brown adipose tissue] transplantation enhances the activity of endogenous BAT, eventually leading to the improvement of whole body energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis,” the authors wrote in their report, published last week (April 1) in Endocrinology.
The researchers transplanted brown fat to mice deficient in leptin, which predisposes the animals to obesity and metabolic problems. Not only did the experimental mice not gain as much weight as their control counterparts, but they did not suffer other problems, such as fatty liver and insulin insensitivity.