Yaligar, J, Verma, SK, Gopalan, V, et al. Dynamic contrast‐enhanced MRI of brown and beige adipose tissues. Magn Reson Med. 2020; 84: 384– 395. https://doi.org/10.1002/mrm.28118
Purpose: The vascular blood flow in brown adipose tissue (BAT) is important for handling triglyceride clearance, increased blood flow and oxygenation. We used dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI and fat fraction (FF) imaging for investigating vascular perfusion kinetics in brown and beige adipose tissues with cold exposure or treatment with β3-adrenergic agonist.
Methods: FF imaging and DCE-MRI using gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid were performed in interscapular BAT (iBAT) and beige tissues using male Wister rats (n = 38). Imaging was performed at thermoneutral condition and with either cold exposure, treatment with pharmacological agent CL-316,243, or saline. DCE-MRI and FF data were co-registered to enhance the understanding of metabolic activity.
Results: Uptake of contrast agent in activated iBAT and beige tissues were significantly (P < .05) higher than nonactivated iBAT. The Ktrans and kep increased significantly in iBAT and beige tissues after treatment with either cold exposure or β3-adrenergic agonist. The FF decreased in activated iBAT and beige tissues. The Ktrans and FF from iBAT and beige tissues were inversely correlated (r = 0.97; r = 0.94). Significant increase in vascular endothelial growth factor expression and Ktrans in activated iBAT and beige tissues were in agreement with the increased vasculature and vascular perfusion kinetics. The iBAT and beige tissues were validated by measuring molecular markers.
Conclusion: Increased Ktrans and decreased FF in iBAT and beige tissues were in agreement with the vascular perfusion kinetics facilitating the clearance of free fatty acids. The methodology can be extended for the screening of browning agents.
Keywords: DCE-MRI; beige fat; brown fat; vascular perfusion kinetics; vasculature; β-oxidation.
This research is supported by the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR).