Cold-activated brown fat soaks up glucose to starve tumors of fuel

Scientists investigating the way in which a sure sort of fat behaves in response to chilly have made a discovery that might have ramifications for most cancers therapy. The breakthrough facilities on the way in which the physique metabolizes glucose, and hints on the risk that chilly temperatures can assist starve tumor cells of a significant fuel supply they want to thrive.

The analysis was carried out by scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet and focuses on what’s often known as brown fat. Distinct from the persistent white fat that shops additional power as lipids to kind love handles and beer bellies, brown fat readily burns away power to maintain the physique heat in colder temperatures.

The considering behind this new research was to discover the way in which activation of brown fat could affect on tumor progress, which depends closely on glucose. The experiments started with mouse fashions of varied cancers, with the rodents uncovered to each chilly and heat temperatures. Mice stored at 4 °C (39.2 °F) exhibited far slower tumor progress and lived almost twice so long as mice residing in rooms at 30 °C (86 °F).

Analysis of tissues, mobile reactions and glucose metabolism confirmed that the colder temperatures drove vital uptake in glucose within the brown fat tissue. Meanwhile, glucose indicators might barely be detected within the tumor cells. Follow up experiments during which the scientists eliminated the brown fat or hampered its perform primarily eradicated the cancer-fighting results of the chilly temperature publicity and enabled the tumors to develop at regular tempo. Feeding the mice sugary drinks had an analogous impact.

“Interestingly, excessive sugar drinks appear to cancel out the impact of chilly temperatures on most cancers cells, suggesting that limiting glucose provide might be one of an important strategies for tumor suppression,” says study author Professor Yihai Cao.

The team did find some evidence that similar effects could be at play in humans. Subsequent experiments involving a small group of healthy subjects and one cancer patient produced similar results, with lower glucose uptake observed in tumor cells at lower temperatures, of around 22 °C (71.6 °F).

“We found that cold-activated brown adipose tissue competes against tumors for glucose and can help inhibit tumor growth in mice,” said Cao. “Our findings suggest that cold exposure could be a promising novel approach to cancer therapy, although this needs to be validated in larger clinical studies.”

The research was published in the journal Nature.

Source: Karolinska Institutet

Exit mobile version