Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

FGF21 hormone, key to control obesity, also protects against heart diseases in mice

Date:
June 17, 2013
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
A research group has found that FGF21, an endocrine factor which reduces glucose levels, protects against cardiac diseases in mice.

A research group has found that FGF21, an endocrine factor which reduces glucose levels, protects against cardiac diseases in mice.

The research, published online on the journal Nature Communications, was led by Francesc Villarroya, professor from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the UB and Director of the Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Barcelona (IBUB), affiliated centre with the campus of international excellence BKC. Anna Planavila, first author of the paper, from that Department of the UB, the experts Luigi Gabrielli and Marta Sitges (IDIBAPS-Hospital Clνnic de Barcelona) and other international experts also collaborated in the research.

Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), mainly secreted by the liver, is a protein which acts as a metabolic regulator and plays a key role as an antidiabetic and antiobesity agent. In 2010, the cover of the journal Cell Metabolism echoed a finding made by the UB research group headed by Dr Villarroya: FGF21 activates thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue -- which governs energy expenditure and heat production in the body -- , what promotes the burning of calories to release heat, dissipating then large amounts of energy.

FGF21: a cardioprotective agent in mice

According to Professor Francesc Villarroya, member of the Biomedical Research Networking Centres on Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn), "the research has contributed to describe the protecting role against cardiac hypertrophy that FGF21 plays in mice." The research group compared the role of FGF21 in cardiac tissue in a group of knockout mice (those lacking FGF21) and in another group which perfectly express the factor. They observed that mice lacking FGF21 are more prone to develop cardiac diseases.

Anna Planavila, expert on metabolism and cardiac functions study, explains that "echocardiography tests, carried out together with a group from Hospital Clνnic, proved how knock-out mice's heart function had got worse as they showed dilatation and cardiac hypertrophy, electrocardiography waves due to alterations of the mechanisms of cardiac systole and diastole mechanisms, etc. These effects were also observed at histological and gene expression levels."

The heart is able to produce FG21

Besides FGF21 new function, the paper reveals new scientific findings about cardiac metabolism and physiology. Authors affirm that the heart is also able to produce this factor which works as a protective agent against heart stress situations.

"Previous knowledge." Villarroya adds, "had already stated that FGF21 is synthetized by the liver, the skeletal muscle and the brown adipose tissue to speed up glucose uptake and energy metabolism. The research has also unveiled that the cardiac muscle produces the endocrine factor too."

Experts state that the heart produces the factor under basal conditions. If the heart undergoes more physiological stress, FGF21 production is increased as a protective response. "Unlike the liver, the skeletal muscle and the brown adipose tissue, cardiac cells ability to produce this factor has a local and self-protection effect," Villarroya remarks. The pre-clinical study published on Nature Communications shed new light on the metabolic control of molecular signalling pathways of diabetes, obesity and adipose tissue inflammation. The research can contribute to establish FGF21 as a potential tool in the development of new strategies to prevent and treat cardiac damage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Planavila, I. Redondo, E. Hondares, M. Vinciguerra, C. Munts, R. Iglesias, L. A. Gabrielli, M. Sitges, M. Giralt, M. van Bilsen, F. Villarroya. Fibroblast growth factor 21 protects against cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3019

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "FGF21 hormone, key to control obesity, also protects against heart diseases in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617111207.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2013, June 17). FGF21 hormone, key to control obesity, also protects against heart diseases in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617111207.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "FGF21 hormone, key to control obesity, also protects against heart diseases in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617111207.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins