Thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) is well characterized as being under the control of the sympathetic nervous system. The energy-burning capacity of BAT makes it an attractive target for anti-obesity therapies. However, previous attempts to manipulate BAT’s sympathetic activation have lacked specificity. In this issue of the JCI, Bordicchia et al. provide new data indicating that cardiac natriuretic peptides (NPs) are also able to activate thermogenic machinery in adipose tissue. Their findings suggest a novel strategy to increase energy dissipation in adipose tissue, independent of adrenergic receptors.
Andrew J. Whittle, Antonio Vidal-Puig
Hypothesized role of NPs as chronic regulators of BAT.