June 04, 2017
1 min read

Receptors in brown fat cells could provide avenue for treatment

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Researchers identified two receptors on brown adipose tissue cells, TRPM8 and TRPP3, that could be targeted to increase the amount of brown adipose tissue in people, serving as a possible therapy for obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a press release from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The receptors are involved in the creation of brown adipose tissue and could be activated by select foods or potentially serve as targets for new drugs, according to the release.

“Our study establishes the potential of TRPM8 and TRPP3 as druggable targets involved in human brown adipogenesis, to develop substances that can modulate energy consumption in individuals and blood sugar control,” Michael Ragunath, MD, PhD, a researcher at the Center for Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, said in the release. “In the face of a growing number of diabetic and obese people, our work hopefully will contribute to the development of non-adrenergic stimulators of brown fat and the appreciation of functional food to influence brown fat physiology.”

Ragunath and colleagues examined bone marrow stem cells and subcutaneous belly fat cells from human donors. Through analysis the researchers found that both TRPM8 and TRPP3 were present at high levels in differentiated brown fat.

The study was published in The FASEB Journal.