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PLoS One. 2016 May 20;11(5):e0155598. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155598. eCollection 2016.

Canine Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Ameliorates Hyperglycemia Associated with Inhibiting Hepatic Gluconeogenesis and Improving Pancreatic Beta-Cell Survival in Diabetic Mice and Dogs.

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Biopharmaceutical Lab, School of Life Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, P.R. China.


Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrinopathy in dog. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) is a secreted protein, which is involved in glucose homeostasis. We speculate that the recombinant canine FGF-21 (cFGF-21) has the potential to become a powerful therapeutics to treat canine diabetes. The cFGF-21 gene was cloned and expressed in E. coli Rosetta (DE3). After purification, a cFGF-21 protein with the purity exceeding 95% was obtained. Mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes and type 1 diabetic mice/dogs induced by STZ were used to examine the biological activity of cFGF-21 in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Results showed that cFGF-21 stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes significantly in a dose-dependent manner, and reduced plasma glucose significantly in diabetic mice/dogs. After treatment with cFGF-21, the serum insulin level, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level and the expressions of the hepatic gluconeogenesis genes (glucose-6-phosphatase, G6Pase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, PCK) of the diabetic mice/dogs were attenuated significantly. In the mouse experiment, we also found that the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and the expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) were up-regulated significantly in the livers after treatment. Histopathological and immunohistochemical results showed that treatment with cFGF-21 promoted recovery of pancreatic islets from STZ-induced apoptosis. Besides, we also found that treatment with cFGF-21 protected liver against STZ or hyperglycemia induced damage and the mechanism of this action associated with inhibiting oxidative stress. In conclusion, cFGF-21 represents a promising candidate for canine diabetes therapeutics. The mechanism of cFGF-21 ameliorates hyperglycemia associated with inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis by regulation of STAT3 signal pathway and improving pancreatic beta-cell survival.

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