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Fatty Acid Synthesis In Mouse Brown Adipose Tissue. The Influence Of Environmental Temperature On The Proportion Of Whole-body Fatty Acid Synthesis In Brown Adipose Tissue And The Liver.

P. Trayhurn
Published 1981 · Biology, Medicine

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Fatty acid synthesis has been measured in vivo with 3H2O in mice acclimated at different environmental temperatures (33, 22, 4 degrees C), and the importance of brown adipose tissue and the liver to whole-body fatty acid synthesis at each temperature assessed. At 33 degrees C, when non-shivering thermogenesis is minimal, the rate of fatty acid synthesis in interscapular brown adipose tissue was lower than in the liver, but higher than in white adipose tissue and the carcass. At 4 degrees C, when non-shivering thermogenesis is maximal, the fatty acid synthesis rate in interscapular brown adipose tissue was many times greater than in any other tissue. High fatty acid synthesis rates were also found in other brown adipose tissue depots--subscapular, dorsocervical and axillary--of cold-acclimated mice. In mice maintained at 22 degrees C the rate of fatty acid synthesis was also higher in brown adipose tissue than in other tissues. Overall, the relative importance of brown adipose tissue as a site of fatty acid synthesis increased with lower environmental temperatures, while that of the liver decreased. It was calculated that brown adipose tissue in total accounted for approx. 5% of whole-body fatty acid synthesis at 33 degrees C, 10% at 22 degrees C and 30% at 4 degrees C. In contrast, hepatic synthesis amounted to 32% of whole-body fatty acid synthesis at 33 degrees C, 16% at 22 degrees C and only 11% at 4 degrees C. An estimate of the contribution that de novo synthesis makes to total fatty acid utilization by interscapular brown adipose tissue suggests that fatty acid synthesis and breakdown constitutes a significant heat-dissipating 'cycle' in brown adipose tissue of cold-acclimated mice. Such a cycle is not evident in suckling animals since fatty acid synthesis in brown adipose tissue is very low during early development.
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