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Insulin resistance, the unbrowning of brown adipose tissue and beige adipose tissue development in obese and obese-diabetic rats: Is there a link? 


The participation of brown adipose tissue thermogenesis during alterations in diet and environment in mammalian species are well cited. Historically only white and brown adipose were known, but recent studies in rodent animal models have proposed a third histologic type of adipose tissue that is morphologically and metabolically similar to brown adipose tissue, and which has become known as beige adipose tissue. The recent reports of beige adipose tissue, also identified as beige, bright, or pink adipose tissue suggest beige adipose tissue may have a role in energy balance vs. energy storage via fat accretion in response to alterations in diet, environment, hormonal and pharmacologic regulation. In addition, activation of beige adipose tissue via pharmacologic, physiologic or hormonal means may also occur via the adrenergic-activated mitochondrial uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) activity in a manner similar to that of BAT while retaining its multilocular lipid histologic distribution. The morphometric and biological functions of beige adipose tissue in obese and obese-NIDDM rats during over- and undernutrition are reviewed and discussed, with particular reference to the prevalence and role of insulin resistance in various strains of obese and obese non-insulin dependent diabetic (NIDDM) rats in association with brown and beige adipose tissue.


obesity, insulin resistance, brown adipose tissue, beige adipose tissue, obese rats, WAT, white adipose tissue, UCP1, uncoupling protein-1, NIDDM, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, MetS, metabolic syndrome, VMA, vanilmandelic acid