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FEBS Lett. 2008 May 28;582(12):1725-30. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2008.04.038. Epub 2008 May 5.

FGF21 attenuates lipolysis in human adipocytes - a possible link to improved insulin sensitivity.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, M63 Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.


Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is active in murine adipocytes and has beneficial metabolic effects in animal models of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We assessed whether FGF21 influences lipolysis in human adipocytes and 3T3-L1 cells. FGF21 had no short-time effect (h) while a 3-day incubation with FGF21 attenuated hormone-stimulated lipolysis. FGF21 did not influence the mRNA expression of genes involved in regulating lipolysis, but significantly reduced the expression of the lipid droplet-associated phosphoprotein perilipin without affecting differentiation. Via reduced release of fatty acids into the circulation, the anti-lipolytic effect could be a mechanism through which FGF21 promotes insulin sensitivity in man.

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