The occurrence of brown adipose tissue in outdoor workers

  • Pirkko Huttunen
  • J. Hirvonen
  • V. Kinnula


Histochemical reactions and activities of mitochondrial enzymes in adipose tissue around the neck arteries and in pericardium were studied in men who had been outdoor workers in northern Finland. The purpose was to study the occurrence of brown fat in workers having been exposed to cool or cold ambient temperature. Indoor workers of the same age were used as controls.

Histochemically, no mitochondrial enzyme reactions were seen in the adipose tissues taken from the indoor workers, whereas some outdoor workers had some multilocular adipose tissue, mostly around the neck arteries. Biochemical parameters also showed increased enzyme activities of aerobic energy metabolism in the adipose tissue of these people.

The present results suggest that working in the cold can retain brown adipose tissue in “strategic” places in human adults.

Key words

Cold-exposure Mitochondrial enzymes of adipose tissue Human adults 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pirkko Huttunen
    • 1
  • J. Hirvonen
    • 1
  • V. Kinnula
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Forensic Medicine and PhysiologyUniversity of OuluOulu 22Finland

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