The brown adipose tissue (BAT) evolved as a specialized thermogenic organ in mammals. Nutrients (i.e., fatty acids and glucose) from the intracellular storage and peripheral tissues are critical to the BAT thermogenic function. The BAT converts the chemical energy stored in nutrients to thermo energy through UCP1-mediated nonshivering thermogenesis (NST). Activated BAT contributes significantly to the whole body energy substrate homeostasis. It is now well-recognized that adult humans possess BAT with functional thermoactivity. Thus, BAT energy metabolism has a significant therapeutic potential in the management of metabolic disorders, such as obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and lipid abnormality in humans.
Part of the book: Cellular Metabolism and Related Disorders