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The liver: Key in regulating appetite and body weight

  • Fam B
  • Joannides C
  • Andrikopoulos S
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Liver fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) is a regulatory enzyme in gluconeogenesis that is elevated by obesity and dietary fat intake. Whether FBPase functions only in glucose metabolism or has other metabolic roles is currently unclear. In our recently published study, we examined the importance of liver FBPase in body weight regulation by performing a series of comprehensive physiological and biochemical assessments of energy balance and specific intervention studies in our transgenic mouse line that overexpresses FBPase specifically in the liver. Compared with negative littermates, these FBPase transgenic mice weighed 10% less, had 50% less adiposity, ate 15% less food but did not have altered energy expenditure. Increased circulating leptin and cholecystokinin levels, elevated fatty acid oxidation and reduced appetite stimulating neuropeptides, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AGRP), underpinned this phenotype. Blocking the action of FBPase returned food intake and body weight to those of the negative littermates. Our study is the first to identify liver FBPase as a previously unknown regulator of appetite and adiposity. Importantly, this work recognizes the liver as an important organ in appetite and body weight regulation. This commentary will provide further insight and expand on this novel concept that the liver does in fact play an important role in adiposity.




Fam, B., Joannides, C., & Andrikopoulos, S. (2012). The liver: Key in regulating appetite and body weight. Adipocyte, 1(4), 259–264.

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