Science. 2010 May 6.
Obesity results from chronic energy surplus and excess lipid storage in white adipose tissue (WAT). In contrast, brown adipose tissue (BAT) efficiently burns lipids through adaptive thermogenesis. Studying mouse models, we show that cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, a rate-limiting enzyme in prostaglandin (PG) synthesis, is a downstream effector of beta-adrenergic signaling in WAT and is required for the induction of BAT in WAT depots. PG shifted the differentiation of defined mesenchymal progenitors toward a brown adipocyte phenotype. Overexpression of COX-2 in WAT induced de novo BAT recruitment in WAT, increased systemic energy expenditure, and protected mice against high-fat diet-induced obesity. Thus, COX-2 appears integral to de novo BAT recruitment, suggesting that the PG pathway regulates systemic energy homeostasis.
Prostaglandins promote the development of thermogenic beige fat in mice, and may be a therapeutic approach to treat obesity.Press release