Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays an essential role in maintaining body temperature and in treating obesity and diabetes. The adult BAT (aBAT) and neonatal BAT (neBAT) vary greatly in capacity, but the characteristics and differences between them on the molecular level, as well as the related features of BAT as it develops post-delivery, have not yet been fully determined. In this study, we examined the morphological features of aBAT and neBAT of mice by using hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We found that neBAT contains a smaller number and size of lipid droplets, as well as more abundant mitochondria, compared with aBAT. The dynamic morphological changes revealed that the number and size of lipid droplets increase, but the number of mitochondria gradually decrease during the post-delivery development, which consisted of some differences in RNA or protein expression levels, such as gradually decreased uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1
) expression levels and mitochondrial genes, such as mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam
). The adipocyte differentiation-related genes, such as transcription factor CCAAT enhancer-binding protein β (CEBPβ
), were also continuously upregulated. Additionally, the different features of aBAT and neBAT were analyzed from the global transcription (RNA-Seq) level, which included messenger RNA (mRNA), microRNA, long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), circRNA, and DNA methylation, as well as proteins (proteomics). Differentially methylated region (DMR) analysis identified 383 hyper- and 503 hypo-methylated genes, as well as 1221 new circRNA in ne-BAT and 1991 new circRNA in a-BAT, with significantly higher expression of circRNA in aBAT compared with neBAT. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis indicated that mitochondrial activity, protein synthesis, and cell life activity levels were higher in neBAT, and pathways related to ribosomes, spliceosomes, and metabolism were significantly activated in neBAT compared to aBAT. Collectively, this study describes the dynamic changes occurring throughout post-delivery development from the morphological, molecular and omics perspectives. Our study provides information that may be utilized in improving BAT functional activity through gene regulation and/or epigenetic regulation.
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