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      Understanding the brown adipocyte as a contributor to energy homeostasis.

      Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism

      physiology, Thermogenesis, metabolism, Sympathetic Nervous System, Mitochondrial Proteins, Ion Channels, Humans, Energy Metabolism, Adipocytes, Brown

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          Abstract

          Brown adipocytes are specialized cells capable of undergoing thermogenesis, a phenomenon regulated by the sympathetic nervous system, due to the presence of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). The recent demonstrations of their presence in adult humans, and the discovery that brown adipocytes can be derived from distinct precursors and express specific genes depending on their anatomic location, have sparked intense interest in enhancing the current understanding of their biology and relevance to human energy homeostasis. We provide an overview of the latest advances related to the developmental origins of brown adipocytes, discuss their regulation and function in both rodents and humans, and offer a critical perspective on the relevance of brown adipocyte-mediated thermogenesis in human physiology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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          Journal
          10.1016/j.tem.2013.04.002
          23711353

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