Supraclavicular brown adipocytes originate from Tbx1+ myoprogenitors

Zan Huang, Chenxin Gu, Zengdi Zhang, Rini Arianti, Aneesh Swaminathan, Kevin Tran, Alex Battist, Endre Kristóf, Hai Bin Ruan

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1 Scopus citations


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy as heat, contributing to temperature control, energy expenditure, and systemic homeostasis. In adult humans, BAT mainly exists in supraclavicular areas and its prevalence is associated with cardiometabolic health. However, the developmental origin of supraclavicular BAT remains unknown. Here, using genetic cell marking in mice, we demonstrate that supraclavicular brown adipocytes do not develop from the Pax3+/Myf5+ epaxial dermomyotome that gives rise to interscapular BAT (iBAT). Instead, the Tbx1+ lineage that specifies the pharyngeal mesoderm marks the majority of supraclavicular brown adipocytes. Tbx1Cre-mediated ablation of peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) or PR/SET Domain 16 (PRDM16), components of the transcriptional complex for brown fat determination, leads to supraclavicular BAT paucity or dysfunction, thus rendering mice more sensitive to cold exposure. Moreover, human deep neck BAT expresses higher levels of the TBX1 gene than subcutaneous neck white adipocytes. Taken together, our observations reveal location-specific developmental origins of BAT depots and call attention to Tbx1+ lineage cells when investigating human relevant supraclavicular BAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3002413
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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