Endocrine disrupting chemicals: Friend or foe to brown and beige adipose tissue?

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The effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) on the current obesity epidemic is a growing field of interest. Numerous EDCs have shown the potential to alter energy metabolism, which may increase the risk of obesity, in part, through direct actions on adipose tissue. While white adipose tissue has historically been the primary focus of this work, evidence of the EDC-induced disruption of brown and beige adipose tissues continues to build. Both brown and beige fat are thermogenic adipose depots rich in mitochondria that dispense heat when activated. Due to these properties, brown and beige fat are implicated in metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cachexia. This review delves into the current literature of different EDCs, including bisphenols, dioxins, air pollutants, phthalates, and phytochemicals. The possible implications that these EDCs have on thermogenic adipose tissues are covered. This review also introduces the possibility of using brown and beige fat as a therapeutic target organ by taking advantage of some of the properties of EDCs. Collectively, we provide a comprehensive discussion of the evidence of EDC disruption in white, brown, and beige fat and highlight gaps worthy of further exploration.

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This article was published in Toxicology, Volume 463.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2021.152972.

Copyright © 2021.

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