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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Apr 3;1526(1):17-24.

Interleukin-15 mediates reciprocal regulation of adipose and muscle mass: a potential role in body weight control.

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Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.


Interleukin (IL)-15 is a cytokine which is highly expressed in skeletal muscle. Cell culture studies have indicated that IL-15 may have an important role in muscle fiber growth and anabolism. However, data concerning the metabolic effects of this cytokine in vivo are lacking. In the present study, IL-15 was administered to adult rats for 7 days. While IL-15 did not cause changes in either muscle mass or muscle protein content, it induced significant changes in the fractional rates of both muscle protein synthesis and degradation, with no net changes in protein accumulation. Additionally, IL-15 administration resulted in a 33% decrease in white adipose tissue mass and a 20% decrease in circulating triacylglycerols; this was associated with a 47% lower hepatic lipogenic rate and a 36% lower plasma VLDL triacylglycerol content. The decrease in white fat induced by IL-15 was in adipose tissue. No changes were observed in the rate of lipolysis as a result of cytokine administration. These findings indicate that IL-15 has significant effects on both protein and lipid metabolism, and suggest that this cytokine may participate in reciprocal regulation of muscle and adipose tissue mass.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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