Interscapular brown adipose tissue denervation does not promote the oxidative activity of inguinal white adipose tissue in male mice

Sébastien M. Labbé, X. Alexandre Caron, William T. Festuccia, Roger Lecomte, Denis Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis is a key controller of energy metabolism. In response to cold or other adrenergic stimuli, brown adipocytes increase their substrate uptake and oxidative activity while uncoupling ATP synthesis from the mitochondrial respiratory chain activity. Brown adipocytes are found in classic depots such as in the interscapular BAT (iBAT). They can also develop in white adipose tissue (WAT), such as in the inguinal WAT (iWAT), where their presence has been associated with metabolic improvements. We previously reported that the induction of oxidative metabolism in iWAT is low compared with that of iBAT, even after sustained adrenergic stimulation. One explanation to this apparent lack of thermogenic ability of iWAT is the presence of an active iBAT, which may prevent the full activation of iWAT. In this study, we evaluated whether iBAT denervation-induced browning of white fat enhanced the thermogenic activity of iWAT following cold acclimation, under beta-3 adrenergic stimulation (CL 316,243). Following a bilateral denervation of iBAT, we assessed energy balance, evaluated the oxidative activity of iBAT and iWAT using11C-acetate, and quantified the dynamic glucose uptake of those tissues using 2-deoxy-2-[18F]-fluoro-D-glucose. Our results indicate that despite portraying marked browning and mildly enhanced glucose uptake, iWAT of cold-adapted mice does not exhibit significant oxidative activity following beta-3 adrenergic stimulation in the absence of a functional iBAT. The present results suggest that iWAT is not readily recruitable as a thermogenic organ even when functional iBAT is lacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E815-E824
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-deoxy-2-[F]-fluoro--glucose (FDG)
  • Adipose tissue
  • C-acetate
  • Energy metabolism
  • Position emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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