Variations in T 2* and fat content of murine brown and white adipose tissues by chemical-shift MRI

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The purpose was to compare T 2* relaxation times and proton density fat-fraction (PDFF) values between brown (BAT) and white (WAT) adipose tissue in lean and ob/ob mice. Materials and Methods: A group of lean male mice (n=6) and two groups of ob/ob male mice placed on similar 4-week (n=6) and 8-week (n=8) ad libitum diets were utilized. The animals were imaged at 3 T using a T 2*-corrected chemical-shift-based water-fat magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method that provides simultaneous estimation of T 2* and PDFF on a voxel-wise basis. Regions of interest were drawn within the interscapular BAT and gonadal WAT depots on co-registered T 2* and PDFF maps. Measurements were assessed using analysis of variance, Bonferroni-adjusted t test for multigroup comparisons and the Tukey post hoc test. Results: Significant differences (P<.01) in BAT T 2* and PDFF were observed between the lean and ob/ob groups. The ob/ob animals exhibited longer BAT T 2* and greater PDFF than lean animals. However, only BAT PDFF was significantly different (P<.01) between the two ob/ob groups. When comparing BAT to WAT within each group, T 2* and PDFF values were consistently lower in BAT than WAT (P<.01). The difference was most prominent in the lean animals. In both ob/ob groups, BAT exhibited very WAT-like appearances and properties on the MRI images. Conclusion: T 2* and PDFF are lower in BAT than WAT. This is likely due to variations in tissue composition. The values were consistently lower in lean mice than in ob/ob mice, suggestive of the former's greater demand for BAT thermogenesis and reflective of leptin hormone deficiencies and diminished BAT metabolic activity in the latter. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hu HH; Hines CDG; Smith DL; Reeder SB
  • Start Page

  • 323
  • End Page

  • 329
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 3