Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Stimulates Pancreatic Islet Autophagy via Inhibition of AMPK-mTOR Signaling.

A new interesting article has been published in Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 22;20(10). pii: E2517. doi: 10.3390/ijms20102517. and titled:

Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Stimulates Pancreatic Islet Autophagy via Inhibition of AMPK-mTOR Signaling.

Authors of this article are:

Cheng STW, Li SYT, Leung PS.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Islet autophagy plays a role in glucose/lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Meanwhile, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) has been found to regulate insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. Whether FGF21 induces islet autophagy, remains to be elucidated. This study aimed to explore the physiological roles and signaling pathways involved in FGF21-stimulated islet autophagy under glucolipotoxic conditions.METHODS: C57/BL6J mice were fed a standard diet or high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks, and islets were isolated from normal and FGF21 knockout (KO) mice. Isolated islets and INS-1E cells were exposed to normal and high-concentration glucose and palmitic acid with/without FGF21 or AMPK inhibitor compound C. Real-time PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry/transmission electron microscopy were performed for the expression of targeted genes/proteins.RESULTS: HFD-treated mice showed increases in fasting plasma glucose, body weight and impaired glucose tolerance; islet protein expression of FGF21 was induced after HFD treatment. Protein expression levels of FGF21 and LC3-II (autophagy marker) were induced in mouse islets treated with high concentrations of palmitic acid and glucose, while phosphorylation of AMPK was reduced, compared with controls. In addition, induction of LC3-II protein expression was reduced in islets isolated from FGF21 KO mice. Furthermore, exogenous administration of FGF21 diminished phosphorylation of AMPK and stimulated protein expression of LC3-II. Consistently, compound C significantly induced increased expression of LC3-II protein.CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that glucolipotoxicity-induced FGF21 activation mediates islet autophagy via AMPK inhibition, and further consolidate the evidence for the FGF21/analog being a pharmacotherapeutic target for obesity and its related T2DM.

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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: CVX343; FGF21; diabetes mellitus; islet autophagy.