Brown adipose tissue prevents glucose intolerance and cardiac remodeling in high-fat-fed mice after a mild myocardial infarction

Carmem Peres Valgas da Silva, Vikram K. Shettigar, Lisa A. Baer, Eaman Abay, Kendra L. Madaris, Mikayla R. Mehling, Diego Hernandez-Saavedra, Kelsey M. Pinckard, Nickolai P. Seculov, Mark T. Ziolo, Kristin I. Stanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obesity increases the risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) after myocardial infarction (MI). Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is important to combat obesity and T2D, and increasing BAT mass by transplantation improves glucose metabolism and cardiac function. The objective of this study was to determine if BAT had a protective effect on glucose tolerance and cardiac function in high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice subjected to a mild MI. Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice were fed a HFD for eight weeks and then divided into Sham (Sham-operated) and +BAT (mice receiving 0.1 g BAT into their visceral cavity). Sixteen weeks post-transplantation, mice were further subdivided into ±MI (Sham; Sham-MI; +BAT; +BAT-MI) and maintained on a HFD. Cardiac (echocardiography) and metabolic function (glucose and insulin tolerance tests, body composition and exercise tolerance) were assessed throughout 22 weeks post-MI. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was performed to determine the expression of genes related to metabolic function of perigonadal adipose tissue (pgWAT), subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT), liver, heart, tibialis anterior skeletal muscle (TA); and BAT. Results: +BAT prevented the increase in left ventricle mass (LVM) and exercise intolerance in response to MI. Similar to what is observed in humans, Sham-MI mice developed IGT post-MI, but this was negated in +BAT-MI mice. IGT was independent of changes in body composition. Genes involved in inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolism were significantly altered in pgWAT, scWAT, and liver in Sham-MI mice compared to all other groups. Conclusions: BAT transplantation prevents IGT, the increase in LVM, and exercise intolerance following MI. MI alters the expression of several metabolic-related genes in WAT and liver in Sham-MI mice, suggesting that these tissues may contribute to the impaired metabolic response. Increasing BAT may be an important intervention to prevent the development of IGT or T2D and cardiac remodeling in obese patients post-MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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