iScience (Dec 2022)

Hepatocyte-derived GDF15 suppresses feeding and improves insulin sensitivity in obese mice

  • Bingxian Xie,
  • Anjana Murali,
  • Amber M. Vandevender,
  • Jeffrey Chen,
  • Agustin Gil Silva,
  • Fiona M. Bello,
  • Byron Chuan,
  • Harinath Bahudhanapati,
  • Ian Sipula,
  • Nikolaos Dedousis,
  • Faraaz A. Shah,
  • Christopher P. O’Donnell,
  • Jonathan K. Alder,
  • Michael J. Jurczak

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 25, no. 12
p. 105569


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Summary: Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a stress-induced secreted protein whose circulating levels are increased in the context of obesity. Recombinant GDF15 reduces body weight and improves glycemia in obese models, which is largely attributed to the central action of GDF15 to suppress feeding and reduce body weight. Despite these advances in knowledge, the tissue-specific sites of GDF15 production during obesity are unknown, and the effects of modulating circulating GDF15 levels on insulin sensitivity have not been evaluated directly. Here, we demonstrate that hepatocyte Gdf15 expression is sufficient for changes in circulating levels of GDF15 during obesity and that restoring Gdf15 expression specifically in hepatocytes of Gdf15 knockout mice results in marked improvements in hyperinsulinemia, hepatic insulin sensitivity, and to a lesser extent peripheral insulin sensitivity. These data support that liver hepatocytes are the primary source of circulating GDF15 in obesity.