Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are environmental hazards that can accumulate in the environment and in the body after ingestion. Humans are exposed to PFCs through dust, through food and not least through drinking water. Based on several lines of ongoing studies, we particularly examine the possibility that activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) may be an unexpected outcome of exposure to PFCs. BAT is present in a large fraction of adults, no just newborns. After activation, BAT increases basal energetic consumption due to a large expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP1, which may favor weight loss (this is been defined as a promising mechanism for the treatment of obesity). Thus, the present project aims to investigate whether PFCs may activate BAT and the mechanisms involved. Experiments will be performed in cell culture and intact animals. UCP1(/) and C57Bl/6 mice will be used. Whole cellular and molecular evaluations will be performed, as well as metabolism evaluations in intact animals treated with PFCs. Understanding the mechanisms of activation of BAT by PFCs will also favor the development of new strategies for treating obesity and metabolic diseases.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: