Evidence for numerous brown adipocytes lacking functional beta 3-adrenoceptors in fat pads from nonhuman primates.
Contributor(s)Neurobiologie, plasticité tissulaire et métabolisme énergétique (NPTME)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) - Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse 3 (UPS)
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Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is involved in the control of energy balance and has been demonstrated to be activated through beta 3-adrenoceptor (beta 3-AR) occupation in rodents. The ability to specifically activate energy expenditure via this receptor is of great interest for the treatment of obesity. Nevertheless, the extent of BAT and the presence of a functional beta 3-AR in humans are now debated, and this situation is difficult to clarify for evident practical and ethical reasons. We investigated the occurrence of brown adipocytes in fat deposits of prepubertal baboons using antibodies raised against uncoupling protein (UCP) in Western blotting and immunocytology experiments. UCP was detected in all types of fat pads studied and was revealed in multilocular cells. Pericardiac and axillary adipose tissues displayed large amounts of UCP and can be assimilated to typical BAT. Most of the other pads looked like white adipose tissue, but exhibited areas with clusters of brown adipocytes and, thus, can be assimilated to the convertible adipose tissue as previously described in rodents. The presence of beta 3-ARs was evaluated by both beta 2-agonist-stimulated lipolysis and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression studies. There was no significant lipolytic effect of any of the beta 3-AR agonists tested (SR 58611A, BRL 37344, CGP 12177, or CL 316243) in either white or brown tissues. PCR analysis demonstrated that beta 3-AR mRNA expression is not related to the UCP content of fat pads and that beta 3-AR expression is low. This study demonstrates the presence of great proportions of brown adipocytes in adipose tissue and the heterogeneity of the fat pads in baboons. The lack of a metabolic effect of beta 3-agonists combined with the weak expression of beta 3-AR mRNAs raise the question of the role of beta 3-ARs in adipose tissues of primates.
PUBMED : 8550779