Image_2_Genetic and Functional Characterization of Novel Brown-Like Adipocytes Around the Lamprey Brain.TIF (1.12 MB)
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posted on 01.07.2021, 04:48 authored by XiaoLuan Xu, AnQi Ma, TieSong Li, WenXue Cui, XueFeng Wang, Jun Li, Qingwei Li, Yue Pang

During the process of vertebrate evolution, many thermogenic organs and mechanisms have appeared. Mammalian brown adipose tissue (BAT) generates heat through the uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation of mitochondria, acts as a natural defense against hypothermia and inhibits the development of obesity. Although the existence, cellular origin and molecular identity of BAT in humans have been well studied, the genetic and functional characteristics of BAT from lampreys remain unknown. Here, we identified and characterized a novel, naturally existing brown-like adipocytes at the lamprey brain periphery. Similar to human BAT, the lamprey brain periphery contains brown-like adipocytes that maintain the same morphology as human brown adipocytes, containing multilocular lipid droplets and high mitochondrion numbers. Furthermore, we found that brown-like adipocytes in the periphery of lamprey brains responded to thermogenic reagent treatment and cold exposure and that lamprey UCP2 promoted precursor adipocyte differentiation. Molecular mapping by RNA-sequencing showed that inflammation in brown-like adipocytes treated with LPS and 25HC was enhanced compared to controls. The results of this study provide new evidence for human BAT research and demonstrate the multilocular adipose cell functions of lampreys, including: (1) providing material energy and protecting structure, (2) generating additional heat and contributing to adaptation to low-temperature environments, and (3) resisting external pathogens.

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