BackgroundBrown adipose tissue (BAT) is associated with higher energy expenditure and lower adiposity in adults. However, the relationship between BAT composition and adiposity in early life is unknown. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that brown fat composition at birth is prospectively associated with adiposity gain during the first 6 months of postnatal life.MethodsN=35 healthy infants were followed up prospectively from intrauterine life and birth through 6 months of age. Dixon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were conducted during the neonatal period to characterize supraclavicular BAT composition. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry to assess total body composition was performed within the first and sixth months of life.ResultsAfter adjusting for potential confounding factors, a more brown-like composition (smaller fat fraction) of the supraclavicular BAT depot was associated with a smaller increase in percent body fat over the first 6 months of postnatal life.ConclusionsA more brown-like BAT composition at birth appears to be protective against excess adiposity gain in early life. Newborn BAT tissue may constitute a target for prevention strategies against the subsequent development of obesity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health