Obesity and nutrient homeostasis are linked by mechanisms that are not fully elucidated. Here we describe a secreted protein, adropin, encoded by a gene, Energy Homeostasis Associated (Enho), expressed in liver and brain. Liver Enho expression is regulated by nutrition: lean C57BL/6J mice fed high-fat diet (HFD) exhibited a rapid increase, while fasting reduced expression compared to controls. However, liver Enho expression declines with diet-induced obesity (DIO) associated with 3 months of HFD or with genetically induced obesity, suggesting an association with metabolic disorders in the obese state. In DIO mice, transgenic overexpression or systemic adropin treatment attenuated hepatosteatosis and insulin resistance independently of effects on adiposity or food intake. Adropin regulated expression of hepatic lipogenic genes and adipose tissue peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, a major regulator of lipogenesis. Adropin may therefore be a factor governing glucose and lipid homeostasis, which protects against hepatosteatosis and hyperinsulinemia associated with obesity.
- melanocortin system