Lipid Droplets in Brown Adipose Tissue Are Dispensable for Cold-Induced Thermogenesis [article]

Chandramohan Chitraju, Alexander Fischer, Robert Farese, Tobias C Walther
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Brown adipocytes store metabolic energy as triglycerides (TG) in multilocular lipid droplets (LDs). Fatty acids released from brown adipocyte LDs by lipolysis are thought to activate and fuel UCP1-mediated thermogenesis. Here we test this hypothesis by preventing fatty acid storage in murine brown adipocytes through brown adipose tissue (BAT)-specific deletions of the TG synthesis enzymes, DGAT1 and DGAT2 (BA-DGAT KO). Despite the absence of LDs, BA-DGAT KO mice had functional BAT and
more » ... euthermia during acute or chronic cold exposure. As apparent adaptations to the lack of TG, brown adipocytes of BA-DGAT KO mice appear to utilize circulating glucose and fatty acids, as well as stored glycogen to fuel thermogenesis. Moreover, BA-DGAT KO mice were resistant to diet-induced glucose intolerance, likely due to increased glucose disposal by BAT. Thus, surprisingly, TGs in BAT are dispensable for its function, in part through adaptations to utilize other fuel sources.
doi:10.1101/2020.03.30.016451 fatcat:3oqv33vsc5hzbjpgdhsxnh5bom