Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New discovery about fatty tissue that burns fat

07.03.2007
In an article now being published in the leading American journal PNAS, a research team led by Barbara Cannon and Jan Nedergaard at the Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University in Sweden, together with British and American scientists, have managed to show for the first time that the cells that become the so-called brown or white fat tissue already know from the very beginning what sort of fat tissue they will be.

Humans and other mammals have two sorts of fatty tissue ¬- white and brown. The white fat tissue is what is usually regarded as 'fat,' the kind many people feel they have too much of. The brown tissue, on the other hand, is a fatty tissue whose job is to burn fat, so that the energy is converted to heat either to keep us (as newborns) warm, or to balance an excessive energy intake.

"This is an answer to many years of discussion in the field, where two views have been put forward: that the cells can have two different fates, brown or white, or that they were predetermined to be one or the other, as this study now shows. An additional and highly unexpected finding was that it could be demonstrated that the very young cells that were to become brown fat cells had characteristics similar to those of young muscle cells," says Barbara Cannon, professor of physiology at the Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University.

The discovery explains to some extent the property that primarily distinguishes brown fat from white fat, namely, its ability to use energy, which is something a muscle cell does in order to work.

... more about:
»Cannon »HDL-cholesterol »Wenner-Gren

Since there is an interest in being able to make use of the potential of brown fat to burn fat and thereby to perhaps help make fat people slim or primarily to counteract the development of obesity in the first place, this discovery is not only of significance in terms of our basic understanding of cell development.

"Our findings do not exclude the possibility of influencing young cells to develop in one direction or the other. It also seems as if there are dormant brown fat cells within the body that could be stimulated to develop and become active, fat-burning cells. Normally adult humans are seen as having rather little brown fat tissue, but new studies using new technologies are starting to challenge this view. We see new potential for understanding the mechanisms that make cells develop into different tissues. And new knowledge always paves the way for new possibilities," says Barbara Cannon.

For further information:
Barbara Cannon, professor of physiology, Wenner-Gren Institute, phone: +46 (0)8-16 4120; cell phone: +46 (0)70-750 0198; e-mail: barbara.cannon@wgi.su.se
Jan Nedergaard, professor of physiology, Wenner-Gren Institute, phone: +46 (0)8-16 4128; cell phone: +46 (0)70-4948955; e-mail: jan@metabol.su.se

James A. Timmons, professor of exercise biology, Heriot Watt University, phone: +44 (0)131 451 4193; cell phone: +44 (0)7833992862; e-mail: J.Timmons@hw.ac.uk

Maria Sandqvist | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

Further reports about: Cannon HDL-cholesterol Wenner-Gren

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>