Background: Cold stimulation of human brown adipose tissue (BAT) can increase its glucose uptake and energy expenditure, making it a potential target for treating obesity and metabolic disease. BAT is commonly found in deeper fascial layers of specific depots. We observed a distinct sexual dimorphism in the dorsal side of the cervical BAT depot.
Methods: Twenty-one healthy, lean, young subjects (12 men, mean BMI 23 ± 2.1 kg/m2), were exposed to five hours of tolerable cold exposure. BAT was measured via by 18F-FDG PET/CT.
Results: Men and women had similar total BAT metabolic activity. We classified the cervical BAT depot into two distinct anatomically continuous areas: a deeper, intermuscular region, and a superficial, dorsocervical region (sdBAT, Figure A-B), sdBAT was present in 6 women, but only in one man (Figure C). Women had less lean mass than men (p<0.001). In women, individual sdBAT metabolic activity was negatively correlated with lean body mass (p=0.05) and positively correlated with total and cervical BAT (p≤0.04).
L. Fletcher: None. B. Leitner: None. K.I. Kim: None. S. McGehee: None. R. Brychta: None. A. Cypess: None. K.Y. Chen: None.