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Severe protein deficiency induces hepatic expression and systemic level of FGF21 but inhibits its hypothalamic expression in growing rats

Abstract : Abstract To study, in young growing rats, the consequences of different levels of dietary protein deficiency on food intake, body weight, body composition, and energy balance and to assess the role of FGF21 in the adaptation to a low protein diet. Thirty-six weanling rats were fed diets containing 3%, 5%, 8%, 12%, 15% and 20% protein for three weeks. Body weight, food intake, energy expenditure and metabolic parameters were followed throughout this period. The very low-protein diets (3% and 5%) induced a large decrease in body weight gain and an increase in energy intake relative to body mass. No gain in fat mass was observed because energy expenditure increased in proportion to energy intake. As expected, Fgf21 expression in the liver and plasma FGF21 increased with low-protein diets, but Fgf21 expression in the hypothalamus decreased. Under low protein diets (3% and 5%), the increase in liver Fgf21 and the decrease of Fgf21 in the hypothalamus induced an increase in energy expenditure and the decrease in the satiety signal responsible for hyperphagia. Our results highlight that when dietary protein decreases below 8%, the liver detects the low protein diet and responds by activating synthesis and secretion of FGF21 in order to activate an endocrine signal that induces metabolic adaptation. The hypothalamus, in comparison, responds to protein deficiency when dietary protein decreases below 5%.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 14, 2022 - 1:36:09 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 3:35:17 AM

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Joanna Moro, Catherine Chaumontet, Patrick Even, Anne Blais, Julien Piedcoq, et al.. Severe protein deficiency induces hepatic expression and systemic level of FGF21 but inhibits its hypothalamic expression in growing rats. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11 (1), pp.12436. ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-91274-4⟩. ⟨hal-03526278⟩

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