What is it about?

Brown fat is an important tissue for helping to regulate body temperature and resting energy expenditure. We have described the path of a previously un-described nerve, from the cervical plexus, terminating in brown-like fat above the clavicle. Previous research had only provided indirect evidence of innervation of this tissue in humans. We also used immunofluorescence to confirm the likely presence of sympathetic nerve fibres within the fat of this region.

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Why is it important?

Previous studies have demonstrated a negative correlation between obesity and brown fat presence in humans. It is proposed that brown possesses the capacity to increase metabolism and aid weight loss. The findings in this study open new avenues for the investigation of neural regulation of fat metabolism and weight loss in humans.

Perspectives

Undertaking this study was an immense pleasure. Ultimately, I want humans to benefit from research. Therefore I find it the most exciting to translate rodent-based research, and test to see whether the anatomy and physiology are consistent in humans. It opens the doors to so many more questions being answered.

Will Sievers
The University of Melbourne

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This page is a summary of: Innervation of supraclavicular adipose tissue: A human cadaveric study, PLoS ONE, July 2020, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236286.
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