Turning on the Heat on Obesity


Atefeh Rabiee: 0000-0003-4060-7328

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title/Conference Publication

2021 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists / InSight Symposium, 5th Annual Research Symposium: Pharmaceutical Sciences Across Borders



Conference Dates

June 4-5, 2021

Date of Presentation



Escaping overweight requires consuming fewer calories or burning more. While white fat only stores the calory, brown fat is one way to burn it because it consumes more energy than white fat, but adult people have little brown fat. However, we and other researchers have found how exposure to cold and exercise can activate the abundant white fat and remodel it into brown-like fat. This makes the inducible brown-like fat a promising target for metabolic disease therapies. While brown fat tends to be stable, brown-like fat has a plasticity that allows for the rapid induction of calory burning capacity by external stimuli such as cold temperatures, and exercise. This means that after external stimuli have been removed the brown-like fat quickly transition back to its white fat state. The detailed molecular mechanisms regulating the brown-like fat reversibility are not fully understood. Understanding the molecular pathways of brown-like fat plasticity will enable us to selectively manipulate those fat depots to induce and maintain their calory expenditure thus improving the whole-body energy homeostasis. There is a great hope that these mechanisms can eventually be artificially adjusted so that we do not have to freeze or live on the treadmill to lose weight.