Brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy as heat to maintain optimal thermogenesis and promotes metabolic health. Exposure to cold conditions strongly induces both hyperplasia and activity of brown fat by distinct but poorly understood mechanisms. The proliferation of preadipocytes and their subsequent differentiation is proposed to be a major contributor to BAT hyperplasia. Primary cilia are sensory organelles emanating from the surface of most eukaryotic cells. We previously discovered that primary cilia mediate hyperplasia and beiging of the white fat tissue in mice by FBF1-dependent manner. WAT preadipocytes transiently form primary cilia during induced differentiation. FBF1 deficiency promotes proliferation, differentiation, and beiging of WAT preadipocytes and thus leads to expansion of metabolically healthy fat tissue. Here, we discovered that BAT preadipocytes dynamically produce sensory cilia during differentiation. FBF1 deficiency enhances brown preadipocyte differentiation and expansion by stimulating PPARγ transcriptional activity. Consistently, Fbf1tm1a/tm1a mice exhibit BAT hyperplasia. We further discovered that FBF1 deficiency promotes the ciliary recruitment of cold-sensing TRP channels upon cold exposure, which likely explains the mechanism underlying cilia-mediated BAT hyperplasia. Collectively, our data provide molecular insights into coldness-induced BAT hyperplasia and highlight the importance of cilia-mediated TRP pathway in thermogenesis regulation.


Y.Zhang: None. B.Liu: None. J.Hao: None. Y.Huang: None. K.Ling: None. J.Hu: None.

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