Brown Adipose Tissue and 27-Hydroxycholesterol: An Energy Expenditure and Morphology Study of Brown Adipose Tissue



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Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is crucial for metabolism, body temperature regulation, and energy homeostasis. Recent studies on the first identified endogenous selective estrogen receptor modulator, 27-Hydroxycholesterol (27-HC), have suggested a link between BAT and 27-HC. 27-HC treatment with a high fat high cholesterol (HF/HC) diet increases white adipose tissue weight gain. Moreover, mouse models have suggested a decrease in dark cycle activity for mice treated with 27-HC and the HF/HC diet. These results suggest that BAT tissue undergoes morphological changes that result in the increase in white adipose tissue and decrease in activity. In this study, we further analyzed the morphological and energy expenditure changes that BAT undergoes in the presence of 27-HC and high fat high cholesterol diets. We observed a decrease in BAT vascularization, decreased energy expenditure, and increased inflammation. Our qPCR analysis revealed a decrease in BAT marker gene expression. Our results suggest that BAT undergoes significant morphological changes that transform it into a white adipose tissue like state. Further study of 27-HC’s effect on BAT is critical to understanding metabolic diseases such as obesity.