Brown and brite/beige adipocytes are attractive therapeutic targets to treat metabolic diseases. To maximally utilize their functional potential, further understanding is required about their identities and their functional differences. Recent studies with β3-adrenergic receptor knockout mice reported that brite/beige adipocytes, but not classical brown adipocytes, require the β3-adrenergic receptor for cold-induced transcriptional activation of thermogenic genes. We aimed to further characterize this requirement of the β3-adrenergic receptor as a functional distinction between classical brown and brite/beige adipocytes. However, when comparing wild-type and β3-adrenergic receptor knockout mice, we observed no differences in cold-induced thermogenic gene expression (Ucp1, Pgc1a, Dio2 and Cidea) in brown or white (brite/beige) adipose tissues. Irrespective of the duration of the cold exposure or the sex of the mice, we observed no effect of the absence of the β3-adrenergic receptor. Experiments with the β3-adrenergic receptor agonist CL-316,243 verified the functional absence of β3-adrenergic signaling in these knockout mice. The β3-adrenergic receptor knockout model in the present study was maintained on a FVB/N background, whereas earlier reports used C57BL/6 and 129Sv mice. Thus, our data imply background-dependent differences in adrenergic signaling mechanisms in response to cold exposure. Nonetheless, the present data indicate that the β3-adrenergic receptor is dispensable for cold-induced transcriptional activation in both classical brown and, as opposed to earlier studies, brite/beige cells. This should be taken into account in the increasing number of studies on the induction of browning and their extrapolation to human physiology.
- β3-adrenergic receptor
- adipose browning
- brown adipocytes
- brite/beige adipocytes
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism