Brown adipose tissue (BAT) function may depend on its anatomical location and developmental origin. Interscapular BAT (iBAT) regulates acute macronutrient metabolism, whilst perivascular BAT (PVAT) regulates vascular function. Although phenotypically similar, whether these depots respond differently to acute nutrient excess is unclear. Given their distinct anatomical locations and developmental origins and we hypothesised that iBAT and PVAT would respond differently to brief period of nutrient excess. Sprague-Dawley rats aged 12 weeks (n=12) were fed either a standard (10% fat, n=6) or high fat diet (HFD: 45% fat, n=6) for 72h and housed at thermoneutrality. Following an assessment of whole body physiology, fat was collected from both depots for analysis of gene expression and the proteome. HFD consumption for 72h induced rapid weight gain (c. 2.6%) and reduced serum non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) with no change in either total adipose or depot mass. In iBAT, an upregulation of genes involved in insulin signalling and lipid metabolism was accompanied by enrichment of lipid-related processes and functions, plus glucagon and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signalling pathways. In PVAT, HFD induced a pronounced down-regulation of multiple metabolic pathways which was accompanied with increased abundance of proteins involved in apoptosis (e.g., Hdgf and Ywaq) and toll-like receptor signalling (Ube2n). There was also an enrichment of DNA-related processes and functions (e.g., nucleosome assembly and histone exchange) and RNA degradation and cell adhesion pathways. In conclusion, we show that iBAT and PVAT elicit divergent responses to short-term nutrient excess highlighting early adaptations in these depots before changes in fat mass.
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