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Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 22;7:43123. doi: 10.1038/srep43123.

Decreased levels of Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 are correlated with improved hypoglycemia in patients with insulinoma.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Clinical Center for Diabetes, Shanghai Diabetes Institute, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Diabetes Mellitus, Shanghai Key Clinical Center for Metabolic Disease, 600Yishan road, Shanghai, 200233 China.


Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) improves insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in obese or diabetic animal models and has been proposed as a potential therapeutic agent for treating T2DM, obesity, and their related complications. However, little is known about the changes of FGF21 levels in response to endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. To explore its relationship with parameters of glucose metabolism in patients with insulinoma, eleven subjects with pathological insulinoma and twenty-two healthy subjects were recruited for this study. Interestingly, we found that the serum FGF21 levels increased significantly in patients with insulinoma at baseline compared with the control group (381.36 ± 107.12 vs. 62.59 ± 10.48 pg/mL; P = 0.001). Furthermore, FGF21 was positively correlated with insulin (r = 0.80, P = 0.003) and proinsulin (r = 0.72, P = 0.012) in subjects with insulinoma. Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that FGF21 was independently associated with insulin (β = 0.80, P = 0.003). In addition, FGF21 decreased significantly after surgery, and its change was still correlated positively with the changes in insulin (r = 0.61, P = 0.048) and proinsulin (r = 0.84, P = 0.001). These findings suggested that the serum FGF21 levels could be involved in a complex adaptive response to insulin secretion and glucose metabolism in humans.

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