Physiology

Targeting brown fat to make less fat

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1373-1374
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6421.1373-b

Heat production by brown fat cells (shown) might reduce appetite.

IMAGE: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE SOURCE

Brown fat can release energy from food as heat instead of storing it and could thus help in battling obesity. Li et al. found that after a meal, brown fat in mice was stimulated to increase thermogenesis by direct action of the gut hormone secretin. The heat produced may be detected by the brain and thus induce a sense of satiety. This signaling relay may increase energy expenditure and decrease appetite, making it a potential target for therapies that attempt to control obesity.

Cell 175, 1561 (2018).

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