Estradiol Regulation of Brown Adipose Tissue Thermogenesis

  • Ismael González-GarcíaEmail author
  • Manuel Tena-SempereEmail author
  • Miguel LópezEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1043)


Physiologically, estrogens carry out a myriad of functions, the most essential being the regulation of the reproductive axis. Currently, it is also dogmatic that estrogens play an important role modulating energy balance and metabolism. In this sense, it is well known that low estrogens levels, occurring due to ovarian insufficiency, in conditions such as menopause or ovariectomy (OVX), are associated with increased food intake and decreased energy expenditure, leading to weight gain and obesity at long term. Concerning energy expenditure, the main effect of estradiol (E2) is on brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Thus, acting through a peripheral or a central action, E2 activates brown fat activity and increases body temperature, which is negatively associated with body weight. Centrally, the hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mediates the E2 action on BAT thermogenesis. In this chapter, we will summarize E2 regulation of BAT thermogenesis and how this can influence energy balance and metabolism in general.


Brown adipose tissue Energy expenditure Estradiol Hypothalamus Obesity 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement n° 281854 – the ObERStress European Research Council project (ML), Xunta de Galicia (ML: 2015-CP079 and 2016-PG068), Junta de Andalucía (MTS: P08-CVI-03788 and P12-FQM-01943), MINECO co-funded by the FEDER Program of EU (ML: SAF2015-71026-R and BFU2015-70454-REDT/Adipoplast; MTS: BFU2011-25021 and BFU2014-58571-P), and ISCIII (MTS: PIE2014-005). CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición is an initiative of ISCIII. IG-G is a recipient of a fellowship from MINECO (FPU12/01827).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyCIMUS, University of Santiago de Compostela-Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria (IDIS)Santiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y NutriciónInstituto de Salud Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and ImmunologyUniversity of CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  4. 4.Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica (IMIBIC)/Hospital Reina SofíaCórdobaSpain
  5. 5.FiDiPro Program, Department of Physiology, University of TurkuTurkuFinland

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