Researchers have shown for the first time that brown fat can exert control over skeletal muscle function. Alterations to the brown adipose tissue in mice resulted in a significant and consistent reduction in exercise performance. Abundant in human babies and small mammals, brown adipose tissue (BAT), or brown fat, was only recently discovered in human adults, and its role remains unclear.
Known to play an integral part in generating body heat and burning stored energy, its presence is linked to lower body weight and improved blood sugar levels, making it an attractive research target for potential treatments for diabetes, obesity and other metabolic diseases.
The study was published today in the journal Cell Metabolism, shed new light on the biology of the enigmatic brown adipose tissue as well as open the door to potential new therapies for certain metabolic and muscular diseases.