The kallikrein-kinin pathway as a mechanism for auto-control of brown adipose tissue activity.

Marion Peyrou, Rubén Cereijo, Tania Quesada-López, Laura Campderrós, Aleix Gavaldà-Navarro, Laura Liñares-Pose, Elena Kaschina, Thomas Unger, Miguel López, Marta Giralt, Francesc Villarroya

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Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is known to secrete regulatory factors in response to thermogenic stimuli. Components of the BAT secretome may exert local effects that contribute to BAT recruitment and activation. Here, we found that a thermogenic stimulus leads to enhanced secretion of kininogen (Kng) by BAT, owing to induction of kininogen 2 (Kng2) gene expression. Noradrenergic, cAMP-mediated signals induce KNG2 expression and release in brown adipocytes. Conversely, the expression of kinin receptors, that are activated by the Kng products bradykinin and [Des-Arg9]-bradykinin, are repressed by thermogenic activation of BAT in vivo and of brown adipocytes in vitro. Loss-of-function models for Kng (the circulating-Kng-deficient BN/Ka rat) and bradykinin (pharmacological inhibition of kinin receptors, kinin receptor-null mice) signaling were coincident in showing abnormal overactivation of BAT. Studies in vitro indicated that Kng and bradykinin exert repressive effects on brown adipocyte thermogenic activity by interfering the PKA/p38 MAPK pathway of control of Ucp1 gene transcription, whereas impaired kinin receptor expression enhances it. Our findings identify the kallikrein–kinin system as a relevant component of BAT thermogenic regulation that provides auto-regulatory inhibitory signaling to BAT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2132
JournalNature Communications
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adipose Tissue, Brown/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bradykinin/genetics
  • Endocrine System/metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Kallikreins/genetics
  • Kininogens/genetics
  • Kinins/genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction/genetics


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