A standardized infrared imaging technique that specifically detects UCP1-mediated thermogenesis in vivo
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The activation and expansion of brown adipose tissue (BAT) has emerged as a promising strategy to counter obesity and the metabolic syndrome by increasing energy expenditure. The subsequent testing and validation of novel agents that augment BAT necessitates accurate pre-clinical measurements in rodents regarding the capacity for BAT-derived thermogenesis. We present a novel method to measure BAT thermogenesis using infrared imaging following β3-adrenoreceptor stimulation in mice. We show that the increased body surface temperature observed using this method is due solely to uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1)-mediated thermogenesis and that this technique is able to discern differences in BAT activity in mice acclimated to 23 °C or thermoneutrality (30 °C). These findings represent the first standardized method utilizing infrared imaging to specifically detect UCP1 activity in vivo.
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