Brown adipose tissue (BAT) catabolizes glucose and fatty acids to produce heat and thereby contributes to energy expenditure. Long-term high-fat diet (HFD) feeding results in so-called 'whitening' of BAT characterized by increased lipid deposition, mitochondrial dysfunction, and reduced fat oxidation. The aim of the current study was to unravel the rate and related mechanisms by which HFD induces BAT whitening and insulin resistance. Wild-type mice were fed a HFD for 0, 1, 3, or 7 days. Within 1 day of HFD, BAT weight and lipid content were increased. HFD also immediately reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by BAT, indicating rapid induction of insulin resistance. This was accompanied by a tendency toward a reduced uptake of triglyceride-derived fatty acids by BAT. Mitochondrial mass and Ucp1 expression were unaltered, whereas after 3 days of HFD, markers of mitochondrial dynamics suggested induction of a more fused mitochondrial network. Additionally, HFD also increased macrophage markers in BAT after 3 days of HFD. Counterintuitively, the switch to HFD was accompanied by an acute rise in core body temperature. We showed that a single day of HFD feeding is sufficient to induce the first signs of whitening and insulin resistance in BAT, which reduces the uptake of glucose and triglyceride-derived fatty acids. BAT whitening and insulin resistance are likely sustained by reduced mitochondrial oxidation due to changes in mitochondrial dynamics and macrophage infiltration, respectively. Likely, the switch to HFD swiftly induces thermogenesis in other metabolic organs, which allows attenuation of BAT thermogenesis.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2019|
- brown adipose tissue
- high-fat diet
- lipid accumulation
- mitochondrial dynamics