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Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.)

Brown adipose tissue responds to cold and adrenergic stimulation by induction of FGF21.


PMID 21373720

Abstract

Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21) is a pleiotropic protein involved in glucose, lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis, with main tissues of expression being the liver and adipose tissue. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is responsible for cold-induced thermogenesis in rodents. The role of FGF21 in BAT biology has not been investigated. In the present study, wild-type C57BL/6J mice as well as a brown adipocyte cell line were used to explore the potential role of cold exposure and β3-adrenergic stimulation in the expression of FGF21 in BAT. Our results demonstrate that short-term exposure to cold, as well as β3-adrenergic stimulation, causes a significant induction of FGF21 mRNA levels in BAT, without a concomitant increase in FGF21 plasma levels. This finding opens new routes for the potential use of pharmaceuticals that could induce FGF21 and, hence, activate BAT thermogenesis.

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