Brown Adipose Tissue Blood Flow and Mass in Obesity: A Contrast Ultrasound Study in Mice
Raher, Michael J.
Flynn, Aidan W.
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CitationClerte, Maëva, David M. Baron, Peter Brouckaert, Laura Ernande, Michael J. Raher, Aidan W. Flynn, Michael H. Picard, Kenneth D. Bloch, Emmanuel S. Buys, and Marielle Scherrer-Crosbie. 2013. “Brown Adipose Tissue Blood Flow and Mass in Obesity: A Contrast Ultrasound Study in Mice.” Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 26 (12) (December): 1465–1473. doi:10.1016/j.echo.2013.07.015.
AbstractBackground: When activated by the sympathetic nervous system, brown adipose tissue (BAT) increases energy expenditure to produce heat. Augmenting BAT mass or increasing BAT activation could potentially be used to decrease obesity. Noninvasive methods to detect and monitor BAT mass are needed. Contrast ultrasound can estimate BAT blood flow and is able to measure the perfused volume of an organ and thus its mass. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether contrast ultrasound could characterize BAT mass in two mouse models of obesity: wild-type mice fed a high-fat diet and mutant db/db mice. Methods: Contrast ultrasound of BAT (Definity 2 μL/min; 14-MHz linear probe) was performed before and after stimulation of BAT with norepinephrine (NE). BAT replenishment curves were obtained, and blood flow was estimated by the product of the curve’s plateau and slope. Additionally, consecutive two-dimensional images of perfused BAT were acquired at 1-mm intervals after stimulation with NE and used to assess BAT volume and mass. Results: BAT blood flow increased after NE infusion in all mice studied. Blood flow response to NE was similar in wild-type mice fed either a low-fat diet or a high-fat diet. BAT blood flow was lower in db/db mice than in wild-type mice (P = .02). Contrast ultrasound–derived BAT mass was correlated with BAT mass obtained at necropsy (R2 = 0.83, P < .001). BAT mass was higher in mice fed a high-fat diet than in those fed a low-fat diet. Conclusions: Contrast ultrasound can be used to estimate BAT mass in mice when BAT vascularization is not significantly impaired. This noninvasive technique may potentially allow the serial evaluation of therapies designed to augment BAT mass.
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