Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology

Free Fatty Acids Impair FGF21 Action in HepG2 Cells.

PMID 26584278


Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a key mediator of glucose and lipid metabolism. However, the beneficial effects of exogenous FGF21 administration are attenuated in obese animals and humans with elevated levels of circulating free fatty acids (FFA). We investigated in vitro how FFA impact FGF21 effects on hepatic lipid metabolism. In the absence of FFA, FGF21 reduced lipogenesis and increased lipid oxidation in HepG2 cells. Inhibition of lipogenesis was associated with a down regulation of SREBP-1c, FAS and SCD1. The lipid-lowering effect was associated with AMPK and ACC phosphorylation, and up regulation of CPT-1α expression. Further, FGF21 treatment reduced TNFα gene expression, suggesting a beneficial action of FGF21 on inflammation. In contrast, the addition of FFA abolished the positive effects of FGF21 on lipid metabolism. In the absence of FFA, FGF21 improves lipid metabolism in HepG2 cells and reduces the inflammatory cytokine TNFα. However, under high levels of FFA, FGF21 action on lipid metabolism and TNFα gene expression is impaired. Therefore, FFA impair FGF21 action in HepG2 cells potentially through TNFα.

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SRP4066 FGF-21 human, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE)