The prevalence of obesity continues to increase in the United States, along with its risk for other associated cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Several therapeutic methods are aimed at targeting and reducing obesity, now defined as a state of chronic, low-grade inflammation (in addition to BMI > 30 kg/m2). In an attempt to expand on these therapeutic methods, research on the concept of browning in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT) is being conducted. Brown adipose tissue (BAT), and a newly discovered type of adipocyte, beige adipocytes, are heavily involved in thermogenesis with the use of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1). This paper focuses on the analysis of common browning genes, ATP-related genes, and metabolic genes in varying biological groups in mice (Chow/High-Fat Diet and Inguinal FAT and Perigonadal Fat) and in humans (Lean/Obese and Subcutaneous WAT (SC) and Omental WAT (OM)) using methods such as RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The data obtained shows an increase in browning in the leaner group, specifically in the subcutaneous fat. Further, browning is significantly reduced in the obese groups of subjects and mice tested, in addition to omental/perigonadal versus subcutaneous/inguinal fat depots. Interestingly, two key ATP genes, UCP-1 and COX4I1 are vastly elevated in the OM WAT, indicating that browning may not be as important in the OM, but rather may have a potential role in SC. This is contrary to prior research findings that attempt to exclude mice surrogates in future experimentation of the browning phenomenon. Further experimentation is needed to expand on the findings of this paper.
- The Role of UCP-1 in Human Omental Tissue