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Issue 131 Spring 2019

Endocrinologist > Spring 2019 > Hot topics

Blocking hormone uptake burns more fat

| Hot topics

Development of beige fat cells in white adipose tissue (WAT) might protect against obesity and improve systemic metabolism. It is a particularly appealing target for the treatment of metabolic diseases through norepinephrine (NE)-mediated signalling pathways.

Song et al. found that the catecholamine transporter, mouse organic cation transporter 3 (Oct3), is highly expressed in WAT, where it mediates NE uptake in the white fat cells in vivo and in vitro. Removing Oct3 in the fat cells leads to enhanced lipid breakdown, increased thermogenesis and browning of WAT when stimulated by NE or cold exposure via activation of the β-adrenergic receptor/ protein kinase A/cyclic adenosine monophosphate-responsive element-binding protein pathway. In humans, reduced functional alleles of OCT3 are also associated with increased basal metabolic rate.

The results suggest that Oct3 is an essential regulator of NE recycling and the beiging of WAT. Development of specific inhibitors could offer possible treatments for metabolic diseases, with new drugs to help burn stored fat and reduce weight.

Read the full article in PLOS Biology doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2006571

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