Mechanism of FGF21 mediated decrease in triglycerides

Mechanism of FGF21 mediated decrease in triglycerides

FGF21 decreases plasma triglycerides (TGs) in rodents and humans; however, the underlying mechanism or mechanisms are unclear.

In the present study, authors examined the role of FGF21 in production and disposal of TG-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) in mice.

Treatment with pharmacological doses of FGF21 acutely reduced plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), liver TG content, and VLDL-TG secretion. In addition, metabolic turnover studies revealed that FGF21 facilitated the catabolism of TRL in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT).

FGF21-dependent TRL processing was strongly attenuated in CD36-deficient mice and transgenic mice lacking lipoprotein lipase in adipose tissues. Insulin resistance in diet-induced obese and ob/obmice shifted FGF21 responses from WAT toward energy-combusting BAT.

In conclusion, FGF21 lowers plasma TGs through a dual mechanism: first, by reducing NEFA plasma levels and consequently hepatic VLDL lipidation and, second, by increasing CD36 and LPL-dependent TRL disposal in WAT and BAT.