Scientific publications

Downregulated Adipose Tissue Expression of Browning Genes With Increased Environmental Temperatures

Dec 21, 2023 | Magazine: The Journal of Clinica Endocrinology and Metabolism

Núria Oliveras-Cañellas  1   2   3   4 , José María Moreno-Navarrete  1   2   3   4 , Paula M Lorenzo  4   5 , Lourdes Garrido-Sánchez  4   6 , Sara Becerril  4   7 , Oriol Rangel  4   8 , Jèssica Latorre  1   2   3   4 , Elena de la Calle Vargas  1   2   3 , Maria Pardo  4   9 , Victor Valentí  4   7 , Juan L Romero-Cabrera  4   8 , Wilfredo Oliva-Olivera  6 , Camilo Silva  4   7 , Carlos Diéguez  4   10 , Francesc Villarroya  4   11 , Miguel López  4   10 , Ana B Crujeiras  4   5 , Luisa-Maria Seoane  4   12 , José López-Miranda  4   8 , Gema Frühbeck  4   7 , Francisco José Tinahones  4   6 , José-Manuel Fernández-Real  1   2   3   4

Context: Climate change and global warming have been hypothesized to influence the increased prevalence of obesity worldwide. However, the evidence is scarce.

Objective: We aimed to investigate how outside temperature might affect adipose tissue physiology and metabolic traits.

Methods: The expression of genes involved in thermogenesis/browning and adipogenesis were evaluated (through quantitative polymerase chain reaction) in the subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) from 1083 individuals recruited in 5 different regions of Spain (3 in the North and 2 in the South). Plasma biochemical variables and adiponectin (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were collected through standardized protocols. Mean environmental outdoor temperatures were obtained from the National Agency of Meteorology. Univariate, multivariate, and artificial intelligence analyses (Boruta algorithm) were performed.

Results: The SAT expression of genes associated with browning (UCP1, PRDM16, and CIDEA) and ADIPOQ were significantly and negatively associated with minimum, average, and maximum temperatures. The latter temperatures were also negatively associated with the expression of genes involved in adipogenesis (FASN, SLC2A4, and PLIN1). Decreased SAT expression of UCP1 and ADIPOQ messenger RNA and circulating adiponectin were observed with increasing temperatures in all individuals as a whole and within participants with obesity in univariate, multivariate, and artificial intelligence analyses. The differences remained statistically significant in individuals without type 2 diabetes and in samples collected during winter.

Conclusion: Decreased adipose tissue expression of genes involved in browning and adiponectin with increased environmental temperatures were observed. Given the North-South gradient of obesity prevalence in these same regions, the present observations could have implications for the relationship of the obesity pandemic with global warming.

CITATION  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Dec 21;109(1):e145-e154.  doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgad469