As potential activators of brown adipose tissue (BAT), mild cold exposure and sympathomimetic drugs have been considered as treatments for obesity and diabetes, but whether they activate the same pathways is unknown. In 10 healthy human volunteers, we found that the sympathomimetic ephedrine raised blood pressure, heart rate, and energy expenditure, and increased multiple circulating metabolites, including glucose, insulin, and thyroid hormones. Cold exposure also increased blood pressure and energy expenditure, but decreased heart rate and had little effect on metabolites. Importantly, cold increased BAT activity as measured by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET-CT in every volunteer, whereas ephedrine failed to stimulate BAT. Thus, at doses leading to broad activation of the sympathetic nervous system, ephedrine does not stimulate BAT in humans. In contrast, mild cold exposure stimulates BAT energy expenditure with fewer other systemic effects, suggesting that cold activates specific sympathetic pathways. Agents that mimic cold activation of BAT could provide a promising approach to treating obesity while minimizing systemic effects.
Aaron M. Cypess; Yih-Chieh Chen; Cathy Sze; Ke Wang; Jeffrey English; Onyee Chan; Ashley R. Holman; Ilan Tal; Matthew R. Palmer; Gerald M. Kolodny; C. Ronald Kahn
The time required to recover from cold-induced paralysis (chill-coma) is a common measure of insect cold tolerance used to test central questions in thermal biology and predict the effects of climate change on insect populations. The onset of chill-coma in the fall field cricket (Gryllus pe ... more
Influenza recurs seasonally in temperate regions of the world; however, our ability to predict the timing, duration, and magnitude of local seasonal outbreaks of influenza remains limited. Here we develop a framework for initializing real-time forecasts of seasonal influenza outbreaks, usin ... more
Undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) are commonly present with latent EBV infection. However, events regulating EBV infection at early stages of the disease and the role of EBV in disease pathogenesis are largely undefined. Genetic alterations leading to activation of cyclin D1 ... more