In vivo measurement of energy substrate contribution to cold-induced brown adipose tissue thermogenesis

Sébastien M. Labbé, Alexandre Caron, Inan Bakan, Mathieu Laplante, André C. Carpentier, Roger Lecomte, Denis Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


The present study was designed to investigate the effects of cold on brown adipose tissue (BAT) energy substrate utilization in vivo using the positron emission tomography tracers [F]fluorodeoxyglucose (glucose uptake), 14(R,S)-[F]fluoro-6-thiaheptadecanoic acid [nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) uptake], and [1 C]acetate (oxidative activity). The measurements were performed in rats adapted to 27° C, which were acutely subjected to cold (10°C) for 2 and 6 hours, and in rats chronically adapted to 10°C for 21 days, which were returned to 27°C for 2 and 6 hours. Cold exposure (acutely and chronically) led to increases in BAT oxidative activity, which was accompanied by concomitant increases in glucose and NEFA uptake. The increases were particularly high in cold-adapted rats and largely readily reduced by the return to a warm environment. The cold-induced increase in oxidative activity was meaningfully blunted by nicotinic acid, a lipolysis inhibitor, which emphasizes in vivo the key role of intracellular lipid in BAT thermogenesis. The changes in BAT oxidative activity and glucose and NEFA uptakes were paralleled by inductions of genes involved in not only oxidative metabolism but also in energy substrate replenishment (triglyceride and glycogen synthesis). The capacity of BAT for energy substrate replenishment is remarkable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2046-2058
Number of pages13
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucose uptake
  • Glycogenesis
  • Lipogenesis
  • NEFA uptake
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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