Thermogenic potentials of bone marrow adipocytes

Meshail Okla*, Moustapha Kassem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Bone marrow adipose tissue (MAT) is a unique fat depot located in proximity to bone surfaces and exerts regulatory functions in the skeleton. Recent studies have demonstrated that MAT responds to changes in whole-body energy metabolism, such as in obesity and anorexia nervosa, where MAT expands, resulting in deleterious effects on the skeleton. Interestingly, MAT shares properties with both brown and white adipose tissues but exhibits distinct features with regard to lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Recent reports have addressed the capacity of MAT to undergo browning, which could be an attractive strategy for preventing excessive MAT accumulation within the skeleton. In this review, we summarize studies addressing the browning phenomenon of MAT and its regulation by a number of pathophysiological conditions. Moreover, we discuss the relationship between adaptive thermogenesis and bone health. Understanding the thermogenic potentials of MAT will delineate the biological importance of this organ and unravel its potential for improving bone health and whole-body energy metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115658
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Adaptive thermogenesis
  • Bone marrow adipose tissue
  • Brown fat
  • Marrow adiposity


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