Classification of Therapeutic and Experimental Drugs for Brown Adipose Tissue Activation: Potential Treatment Strategies for Diabetes and Obesity.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Increasing efforts are being made towards pharmacologic activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in animals and humans for potential use in the treatment of obesity and diabetes. We and others have reported a number of animal studies using either experimental or therapeutic drugs. There are now efforts to translate these findings to human studies. The goal of this review is to evaluate the various drugs currently being used that have the potential for BAT activation. METHODS:Drugs were classified into 4 classes based on their mechanism of action. Class 1 drugs include the use of ?3 adrenoceptor agonists for BAT activation. Class 2 drugs include drugs that affect norepinephrine levels and activate BAT with the potential of reducing obesity. Class 3 includes activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? in pursuit of lowering blood sugar, weight loss and diabetes and finally Class 4 includes natural products and other emerging drugs with limited information on BAT activation and their effects on diabetes and weight loss. RESULTS:Class 1 drugs are high BAT activators followed by Class 2 and 3. Some of these drugs have now been extended to diabetes and obesity animal models and human BAT studies. Drugs in Class 3 are used clinically for Type 2 diabetes, but the extent of BAT involvement is unclear. CONCLUSION:Further studies on the efficacy of these drugs in diabetes and measuring their effects on BAT activation using noninvasive imaging will help in establishing a clinical role of BAT.
Project description:Mammalian fat comprises white and brown adipose tissue (WAT and BAT, respectively). WAT stores energy, whereas BAT is used for thermogenesis. In recent years, the incidence of obesity and its associated disorders have increased tremendously. Considering the thermogenic capacity and decreased levels of BAT with increasing age, BAT can be used as a suitable therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. In several studies, using positron emission tomography and computed tomography images, adult humans have been shown to have functional BAT in interscapular fat. Results of these basic research studies on BAT have shed light on the new components of transcriptional regulation and the role of hormones in stimulating BAT growth and differentiation. In this review article, we have summarized the thermogenic regulators identified in the past decades by focusing on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma/uncoupling protein 1 activators, branched-chain amino acids, fatty acids (lipokine), and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase mediators. We have also presented the progress of a few ongoing clinical trials aimed at the treatment of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. The main purpose of this review was to provide a comprehensive introduction to the latest knowledge of the representative thermogenic regulators for the treatment of obesity. The fat combustion capacity of BAT may have great potential and can be considered as a suitable target for the therapeutic application of drugs from bench-to-bed treatment of obesity and the associated diseases.
Project description:Background:Obesity occurs when the body's energy intake is constantly greater than its energy consumption and the pharmacological enhancing the activity of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and (or) browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) has been considered promising strategies to treat obesity. Methods:In this study, we took a multi-pronged approach to screen UCP1 activators, including in silico predictions, in vitro assays, as well as in vivo experiments. Results:Base on Connectivity MAP (CMAP) screening, we obtained multiple drugs that possess a remarkably correlating gene expression pattern to that of enhancing activity in BAT and (or) sWAT signature. Particularly, we focused on a previously unreported drug-indirubin, a compound obtained from the Indigo plant, which is now mainly used for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). In the current study, our results shown that indirubin could enhance the BAT activity, as evidenced by up-regulated Ucp1 expression and enhanced mitochondrial respiratory function in vitro cellular model. Furthermore, indirubin treatment restrained high-fat diet (HFD)-induced body weight gain, improved glucose homeostasis and ameliorated hepatic steatosis which were associated with the increase of energy expenditure in the mice model. Moreover, we revealed that indirubin treatment increased BAT activity by promoting thermogenesis and mitochondrial biogenesis in BAT and induced browning of subcutaneous inguinal white adipose tissue (sWAT) of mice under HFD. Besides, our results indicated that indirubin induced UCP1 expression in brown adipocytes, at least in part, via activation of PKA and p38MAPK signaling pathways. Conclusions:Our results clearly show that as an effective BAT (as well as beige cells) activator, indirubin may have a protective effect on the prevention and treatment of obesity and its complications.
Project description:Brown adipose tissue (BAT), an organ that burns energy through uncoupling thermogenesis, is a promising therapeutic target for obesity. However, there are still no safe anti-obesity drugs that target BAT in the market. In the current study, we performed large scale screening of 636 compounds which were approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to find drugs that could significantly increase uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) mRNA expression by real-time PCR. Among those UCP1 activators, most of them were antibiotics or carcinogenic compounds. We paid particular attention to fluvastatin sodium (FS), because as an inhibitor of the cellular hydroxymethyl glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, FS has already been approved for treatment of hypercholesteremia. We found that in the cellular levels, FS treatment significantly increased UCP1 expression and BAT activity in human brown adipocytes. Consistently, the expression of oxidative phosphorylation-related genes was significantly increased upon FS treatment without differences in adipogenic gene expression. Furthermore, FS treatment resisted to high-fat diet (HFD)-induced body weight gain by activating BAT in the mice model. In addition, administration of FS significantly increased energy expenditure, improved glucose homeostasis and ameliorated hepatic steatosis. Furthermore, we reveal that FS induced browning in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) known to have a beneficial effect on energy metabolism. Taken together, our results clearly demonstrate that as an effective BAT activator, FS may have great potential for treatment of obesity and related metabolic disorders.
Project description:Increasing energy expenditure through activation of endogenous brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a potential approach to treat obesity and diabetes. The class of ?3-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonists stimulates rodent BAT, but this activity has never been demonstrated in humans. Here we determined the ability of 200 mg oral mirabegron (Myrbetriq, Astellas Pharma, Inc.), a ?3-AR agonist currently approved to treat overactive bladder, to stimulate BAT as compared to placebo. Mirabegron led to higher BAT metabolic activity as measured via (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) using positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) in all twelve healthy male subjects (p = 0.001), and it increased resting metabolic rate (RMR) by 203 ± 40 kcal/day (+13%; p = 0.001). BAT metabolic activity was also a significant predictor of the changes in RMR (p = 0.006). Therefore, a ?3-AR agonist can stimulate human BAT thermogenesis and may be a promising treatment for metabolic disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Obesity-with its increased risk of obesity-associated metabolic diseases-has become one of the greatest public health epidemics of the twenty-first century in affluent countries. To date, there are no ideal drugs for treating obesity. Studies have shown that activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) can promote energy consumption and inhibit obesity, which makes browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) a potential therapeutic target for obesity. Our objective was to identify genes and molecular pathways associated with WAT and the activation of BAT to WAT browning, by using publicly available data and computational tools; this knowledge might help in targeting relevant signaling pathways for treating obesity and other related metabolic diseases. RESULTS:In this study, we used text mining to find out genes related to brown fat and white fat browning. Combined with biological process and pathway analysis in GeneCodis and protein-protein interaction analysis by using STRING and Cytoscape, a list of high priority target genes was developed. The Human Protein Atlas was used to analyze protein expression. Candidate drugs were derived on the basis of the drug-gene interaction analysis of the final genes. Our study identified 18 genes representing 6 different pathways, targetable by a total of 33 drugs as possible drug treatments. The final list included 18 peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-?) agonists, 4 beta 3 adrenoceptor (?3-AR) agonists, 1 insulin sensitizer, 3 insulins, 6 lipase clearing factor stimulants and other drugs. CONCLUSIONS:Drug discovery using in silico text mining, pathway, and protein-protein interaction analysis tools may be a method of exploring drugs targeting the activation of brown fat or white fat browning, which provides a basis for the development of novel targeted therapies as potential treatments for obesity and related metabolic diseases.
Project description:Brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy through Ucp1-mediated uncoupled respiration and its activation may represent a therapeutic strategy to combat obesity. Here we show that Lkb1 controls BAT expansion and UCP1 expression in mice. We generate adipocyte-specific Lkb1 knockout mice and show that, compared with wild-type littermates, these mice exhibit elevated UCP1 expression in BAT and subcutaneous white adipose tissue, have increased BAT mass and higher energy expenditure. Consequently, KO mice have improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and are more resistant to high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Deletion of Lkb1 results in a cytoplasm to nuclear translocation of CRTC3 in brown adipocytes, where it recruits C/EBP? to enhance Ucp1 transcription. In parallel, the absence of Lkb1 also suppresses AMPK activity, leading to activation of the mTOR signalling pathway and subsequent BAT expansion. These data suggest that inhibition of Lkb1 or its downstream signalling in adipocytes could be a novel strategy to increase energy expenditure in the context of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Project description:A better understanding of the signaling pathways regulating adipocyte function is required for the development of new classes of antidiabetic/obesity drugs. We here report that mice lacking ?-arrestin-1 (barr1), a cytoplasmic and nuclear signaling protein, selectively in adipocytes showed greatly impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity when consuming an obesogenic diet. In contrast, transgenic mice overexpressing barr1 in adipocytes were protected against the metabolic deficits caused by a high-calorie diet. Barr1 deficiency led to a myogenic reprogramming of brown adipose tissue (BAT), causing elevated plasma myostatin (Mstn) levels, which in turn led to impaired insulin signaling in multiple peripheral tissues. Additional in vivo studies indicated that barr1-mediated suppression of Mstn expression by BAT is required for maintaining euglycemia. These findings convincingly identify barr1 as a critical regulator of BAT function. Strategies aimed at enhancing barr1 activity in BAT may prove beneficial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Project description:The obesity pandemic has spurred a need for novel therapies to prevent and treat metabolic complications. The recent rediscovery of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in humans made this tissue a possible therapeutic target, due to its potentially substantial contributions to energy homeostasis. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) has been identified as a facilitator of cold-induced thermogenesis in humans. Furthermore, pre-clinical studies revealed that FGF21 administration leads to improvement in the metabolic consequences of obesity, such as dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes. Here we studied plasma FGF21 levels in two cohorts of human subjects, in whom BAT activity was determined using an individualized cooling protocol by [(18)F]FDG-PET/CT scan. Importantly, we found that circulating FGF21 levels correlated with BAT activity during acute cold exposure in male subjects. In addition, FGF21 levels were related to the change in core temperature upon acute cold exposure, indicating a role for FGF21 in maintaining normothermia, possibly via activation of BAT. Furthermore, cold acclimation increased BAT activity in parallel with increased FGF21 levels. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that FGF21 levels in humans are related to BAT activity, suggesting that FGF21 may represent a novel mechanism via which BAT activity in humans may be enhanced.
Project description:Adipose tissue has emerged as an important regulator of whole-body metabolism, and its capacity to dissipate energy in the form of heat has acquired a special relevance in recent years as potential treatment for obesity. In this context, the p38MAPK pathway has arisen as a key player in the thermogenic program because it is required for the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and participates also in the transformation of white adipose tissue (WAT) into BAT-like depot called beige/brite tissue. Here, using mice that are deficient in p38? specifically in adipose tissue (p38?Fab-KO), we unexpectedly found that lack of p38? protected against high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. We also showed that p38?Fab-KO mice presented higher energy expenditure due to increased BAT thermogenesis. Mechanistically, we found that lack of p38? resulted in the activation of the related protein kinase family member p38?. Our results showed that p38? is activated in BAT by cold exposure, and lack of this kinase specifically in adipose tissue (p38? Fab-KO) resulted in overweight together with reduced energy expenditure and lower body and skin surface temperature in the BAT region. These observations indicate that p38? probably blocks BAT thermogenesis through p38? inhibition. Consistent with the results obtained in animals, p38? was reduced in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of subjects with obesity and was inversely correlated with body mass index (BMI). Altogether, we have elucidated a mechanism implicated in physiological BAT activation that has potential clinical implications for the treatment of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Metainflammation is a chronic low-grade inflammatory state induced by obesity and associated comorbidities, including peripheral insulin resistance. Brown adipose tissue (BAT), a therapeutic target against obesity, is an insulin target tissue sensitive to inflammation. Therefore, it is necessary to find strategies to protect BAT against the effects of inflammation in energy balance. In this study, we explored the impact of moderate sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) overexpression on insulin sensitivity and ?-adrenergic responses in BAT and brown adipocytes (BA) under pro-inflammatory conditions. METHODS:The effect of inflammation on BAT functionality was studied in obese db/db mice and lean wild-type (WT) mice or mice with moderate overexpression of SIRT1 (SIRT1Tg+) injected with a low dose of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic endotoxemia. We also conducted studies on differentiated BA (BA-WT and BA-SIRT1Tg+) exposed to a macrophage-derived pro-inflammatory conditioned medium (CM) to evaluate the protection of SIRT1 overexpression in insulin signaling and glucose uptake, mitochondrial respiration, fatty acid oxidation (FAO), and norepinephrine (NE)-mediated-modulation of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) expression. RESULTS:BAT from the db/db mice was susceptible to metabolic inflammation manifested by the activation of pro-inflammatory signaling cascades, increased pro-inflammatory gene expression, tissue-specific insulin resistance, and reduced UCP-1 expression. Impairment of insulin and noradrenergic responses were also found in the lean WT mice upon LPS injection. In contrast, BAT from the mice with moderate overexpression of SIRT1 (SIRT1Tg+) was protected against LPS-induced activation of pro-inflammatory signaling, insulin resistance, and defective thermogenic-related responses upon cold exposure. Importantly, the decline in triiodothyronine (T3) levels in the circulation and intra-BAT after exposure of the WT mice to LPS and cold was markedly attenuated in the SIRT1Tg+ mice. In vitro BA experiments in the two genotypes revealed that upon differentiation with a T3-enriched medium and subsequent exposure to a macrophage-derived pro-inflammatory CM, only BA-SIRT1Tg+ fully recovered insulin and noradrenergic responses. CONCLUSIONS:This study has ascertained the benefit of the moderate overexpression of SIRT1 to confer protection against defective insulin and ?-adrenergic responses caused by BAT inflammation. Our results have potential therapeutic value in combinatorial therapies for BAT-specific thyromimetics and SIRT1 activators to combat metainflammation in this tissue.