Priority Programme: THYROID TRANS ACT
Translation of Thyroid Hormone Actions beyond Classical Concepts

Dr. Kerstin Krause

Definition of central and cellular effects of thyroid hormones on white adipose tissue browning

Administration of thyroid hormones (TH) to mammals leads to an increase in basal metabolic rate and thermogenesis. Our previous human study demonstrates that the activity of BAT, which is the central place for thermogenesis, is influenced by TH. Furthermore, using a mouse model of hyper-, hypo-, and euthyroid mice, we found evidence that TH induce the occurrence of brown adipocytes in white adipose depots. The analysis of in white adipose tissue residing macrophages gave first evidence for a role of TH in the induction of alternatively activated macrophages, which in current studies are discussed to be closely intertwined with browning of white adipose tissues. Thus, we hypothesize that TH initiate and regulate browning of WAT. The main aim of this project is to identify the underlying mechanisms which finally contribute to the TH induced browning of white adipose tissue. This will be tested in three following subprojects addressing specific aims: (1) The discrimination of central and cellular effects of TH on WAT browning; (II) The characterization of the metabolic activity of the brown adipocytes in hyperthyroid WAT using PET/MRI, (III) Definition of the role of TH on alternatively activated macrophage induced thermogenesis. Perspectively, the stimulation of white adipose tissue browning via the action of TH might be translated into an effective therapy to raise energy expenditure.

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Project Coordinator(s):

Dr. Kerstin Krause
Universitätsklinikum Leipzig
Department für Innere Medizin, Neurologie und Dermatologie
Klinik und Poliklinik für Endokrinologie und Nephrologie
Liebigstr. 21
04103 Leipzig
Phone: +49 341 971 3326
Fax: +49 341 971 32 39