The capacity for estrogen to influence obesity through brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis in animal models: A systematic review and meta‐analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Pharmacological interventions to aid weight loss have historically targeted either appetite suppression or increased metabolic rate. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) possesses the capacity to expend energy in a futile cycle, thus increasing basal metabolic rate. In animal models, oestrogen has been implicated in the regulation of body weight, and it is hypothesized that oestrogen is acting by modulating BAT metabolism. A systematic search was performed, to identify research articles implementing in vivo oestrogen-related interventions and reporting outcome measures that provide direct or indirect measures of BAT metabolism. Meta-analyses were conducted where sufficient data were available. The final library of 67 articles were predominantly in rodent models and provided mostly indirect measures of BAT metabolism. Results of this review found that oestrogen's effects on body weight, in rats and possibly mice, are likely facilitated by both metabolic and appetitive mechanisms but are largely only found in ovariectomized models. There is a need for further studies to clarify the potential effects of oestrogen on BAT metabolism in gonad-intact and castrated male animal models.

publication date

  • 2019