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Programming mediated by fatty acids affects uncoupling protein 1 (UCP-1) in brown adipose tissue

  • Perla P. Argentato (a1), Helena de Cássia César (a2), Débora Estadella (a2) and Luciana P. Pisani (a2)

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has recently been given more attention for the part it plays in obesity. BAT can generate great amounts of heat through thermogenesis by the activation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP-1), which can be regulated by many environmental factors such as diet. Moreover, the build-up of BAT relates to maternal nutritional changes during pregnancy and lactation. However, at present, there is a limited number of studies looking at maternal nutrition and BAT development, and it seems that the research trend in this field has been considerably declining since the 1980s. There is much to discover yet about the role of different fatty acids on the development of BAT and the activation of UCP-1 during the fetal and the postnatal periods of life. A better understanding of the impact of nutritional intervention on the epigenetic regulation of BAT could lead to new preventive care for metabolic diseases such as obesity. It is important to know in which circumstances lipids could programme BAT during pregnancy and lactation. The modification of maternal dietary fatty acids, amount and composition, during pregnancy and lactation might be a promising strategy for the prevention of obesity in the offspring and future generations.

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*Corresponding author: L. P. Pisani, fax +55 13 38783700, email
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