The study of beige adipose tissue (BeAT) has recently gained popularity because of its potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity and other metabolic disorders. While BeAT regulation is well understood in adults, the critical signals regulating BeAT during infant development need to be better defined. The bioactive components in breast milk have been primarily studied in the context of immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Yu and Dilbaz et al. identify how a class of breast milk–specific lipid mediators referred to as alkylglycerols (AKGs) maintain BeAT in infants and prevent the transdifferentiation of BeAT into lipid-storing white adipose tissue (WAT).
Christy M. Gliniak, Philipp E. Scherer