Data_Sheet_1_Cold Induced Depot-Specific Browning in Ferret Aortic Perivascular Adipose Tissue.PDF
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Brown adipose tissue is responsible for facultative thermogenesis to produce heat and increase energy expenditure in response to proper stimuli, e.g., cold. Acquisition of brown-like features (browning) in perivascular white adipose tissue (PVAT) may protect against obesity/cardiovascular disease. Most browning studies are performed in rodents, but translation to humans would benefit from a closer animal model. Therefore, we studied the browning response of ferret thoracic aortic PVAT (tPVAT) to cold. We performed global transcriptome analysis of tPVAT of 3-month-old ferrets acclimatized 1 week to 22 or 4°C, and compared the results with those of inguinal subcutaneous adipose tissue. Immunohistochemistry was used to visualize browning. Transcriptome data revealed a stronger cold exposure response of tPVAT, including increased expression of key brown/brite markers, compared to subcutaneous fat. This translated into a clear white-to-brown remodeling of tPVAT, with the appearance of multilocular highly UCP1-stained adipocytes. The pathway most affected by cold exposure in tPVAT was immune response, characterized by down-regulation of immune-related genes, with cardio protective implications. On the other hand, subcutaneous fat responded to cold by increasing energy metabolism based on increased expression of fatty acid oxidation and tricarboxylic acid cycle genes, concordant with lower inguinal adipose tissue weight in cold-exposed animals. Thus, ferret tPVAT responds to cold acclimation with a strong induction of browning and immunosuppression compared to subcutaneous fat. Our results present ferrets as an accessible translational animal model displaying functional responses relevant for obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention.
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