Lipid metabolism in cold exposure
371B HF DeLuca Biochemistry Laboratories
433 Babcock Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Cellular & Molecular Metabolism; Physiology; Transcriptional Mechanisms
Heat production in response to cold exposure is an energetically demanding process. To fuel thermogenesis during cold exposure, brown adipocytes increases both glucose and lipid uptake. As a postdoctoral fellow, I discovered that acylcarnitines, a circulating lipid species, are necessary for maintaining body temperature during cold exposure. Cold exposure triggers the release of free fatty acids from white adipocytes, which then go to the liver to where they are substrates for acylcarnitine production and secretion into circulation. These excess acylcarnitines are then taken up by the brown adipose tissue and used to fuel thermogenesis. Our research focuses on the interaction between adipose tissue and liver during cold exposure, addressing two unanswered questions: 1) How are liver-produced acylcarnitines taken up and metabolized in brown adipocytes? 2) How is hepatic lipid processing regulated in cold exposure?