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★One Health Relay Report #9★



About "Brown adipose tissue"


 Profile #9: Dr. Yuko OKAMATSU-OGURA, Associate Professor

 Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences,

 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine


【Research Topics】

 ・Control of adipose tissue function and development

 ・Role of adipose tissue in various animals

 ・Brown adipose tissue thermogenesis as a therapeutic target for obesity and related

  metabolic disorders




~Brown adipose tissue~


 We are facing a worldwide pandemic of obesity, a major risk factor in diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases. Obesity is a problem not only in humans but also in companion animals. Obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, and excess energy accumulates in white adipose tissue (WAT) as triglyceride. Therefore, dietary restrictions or consuming energy through exercise is the most effective countermeasure, but it is not so easy.


 Mammals have another type of adipose tissue called brown adipose tissue (BAT), which produces heat by consuming fat energy. We have shown that BAT activation with drugs or food ingredients leads to the reduction of adiposity, making BAT attractive therapeutic target of obesity. Recent research revealed that WAT can be converted to BAT-like thermogenic adipose tissue by various stimuli. We are exploring the mechanism of the adipose tissue conversion to develop new strategy or drugs to prevent obesity.



Measuring the level of fat in a baby seal        Conversion of white adipose tissue to brown adipose tissue

                                                                                     (brown adipocytes are surrounded by unilocular white adipocytes)


Chipmunk lived together in my school days