Brown adipocytes are specialized cells that can use energy to produce heat. This property makes them attractive tools for the treatment of diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Until recently, this therapeutic potential was constrained by limited understanding of how brown adipocyte tissue (BAT) develops from precursors. A team led by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital identified a set of cellular signaling cues that lead up to brown adipocyte formation in mice. They then used these cues to develop a protocol that efficiently produced human brown adipocytes in vitro.
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