Exendin-4 regulates lipid metabolism and fibroblast growth factor 21 in hepatic steatosis

Jinmi Lee, Seok-Woo Hong, Se Eun Park, Eun-Jung Rhee, Cheol-Young Park, Ki-Won Oh, Sung-Woo Park, Won-Young Lee
Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 2014, 63 (8): 1041-8

OBJECTIVE: Hepatokine fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21 takes part in the regulation of lipid metabolism in the liver and adipose tissue. We investigated whether exendin-4 regulates the expression of FGF21 in the liver, and whether the effects of exendin-4 on the regulation of FGF21 expression are mediated via silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog (SIRT) 1 or SIRT6.

MATERIALS/METHODS: The C57BL/6J mice were fed a low fat diet, high fat diet, or high fat diet with 1 nmol/kg/day exendin-4 intraperitoneal injection for 10 weeks. HepG2 used in vitro study was treated with palmitic aicd (0.4 mM) with or without exendin-4 (100 nM) and FGF21 (50 nM) for 24 hours. The change of FGF21 and its receptors expression by exendin-4 were measured using quantitative real-time RT-PCR and Western blot. The intracellular lipid content in HepG2 cells was evaluated by Oil Red O staining. Inhibition of FGF21, SIRT1 and SIRT6, by 10 nM siRNA was performed to establish the signaling pathway of exendin-4 action in hepatic lipid metabolism.

RESULTS: Exendin-4 increased the expression of FGF21 and its receptors in high fat diet-induced obese mice. In addition, recombinant FGF21 treatment reduced lipid content in palmitic acid-treated HepG2 cells. We also observed significantly decreased expression of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α and medium-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase (MCAD) in hepatocytes transfected with FGF21 siRNA. In cells treated with exendin-4, inhibition of SIRT1, but not SIRT6, by siRNA significantly repressed the expression of FGF21 mRNA, whereas decreased SIRT1 expression by inhibition of FGF21 was not observed.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that exendin-4 could improve fatty liver by increasing SIRT1-mediated FGF21.

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