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JCI online early table of contents: Dec. 1, 2010
Date:12/1/2010

be exploited to follow the progression of type 1 diabetes and to monitor the ability of different therapeutic agents to clear early stage disease.

TITLE: Noninvasive imaging of pancreatic islet inflammation in type 1A diabetes patients

Diane Mathis
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Phone: 617.432.7742; Fax: 617.432.7744; E-mail: cbdm@hms.harvard.edu.

Ralph Weissleder
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Phone: 617.726.8226; Fax: 617.726.5708; E-mail: rweissleder@mgh.harvard.edu.

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/44339?key=21b3be9f24b3689f8cf4


METABOLIC DISEASE: Warming up to brown fat

Fat is divided into two types: the white adipose (WAT), which stores energy, and the brown adipose (BAT), which burns energy to generate heat. WAT can be further divided into the layer under the skin (subcutaneous) and intra-abdominal (visceral) deposits. Excess visceral WAT is associated with increased risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, but excess subcutaneous WAT is not. In addition, brown-like cells can appear within WAT during adaptation to cold and in response to anti-diabetic drugs. These cells are thought to increase heat production at the expense of energy storage, and mice with more brown-like cells are resistant to diet-induced obesity. Although the genes that control BAT and WAT generation have been described, it is not known what genes are required for "brown-like" cells to form.

In collaborative work from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Patrick Seale, Bruce Spiegelman, and colleagues investigated the molecular mechanisms that give rise to these brown-like cells. They found that
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