The restriction of dietary protein intake induces adaptive changes in metabolism and increases lifespan, but the cellular mechanisms mediating the detection of dietary protein restriction and its effects on health and longevity are virtually undescribed. We recently discovered that the hormone FGF21 is robustly induced by dietary protein restriction, and that mice lacking FGF21 fail to alter food intake, energy expenditure or body weight in response to dietary protein restriction. These data not only redefine the physiological role for FGF21, they also identify a fundamentally novel endocrine mechanism that appears to explain the metabolic effects of protein restriction. This project extends these data by 1) Identifying the cellular mechanism whereby dietary protein restriction increases hepatic FGF21, 2) Determining whether FGF21 signaling within the CNS or adipose tissue is required for the effects of dietary protein restriction on energy expenditure, and 3) Delineating the mechanisms through which protein restriction protects against HFD-induced obesity and glucose intolerance. This project will redefine the physiological role of FGF21 in the adaptive responses to nutrient restriction and provide a novel mechanistic explanation for the relationship between dietary protein, metabolism and health.

Public Health Relevance

This project focuses on the molecular mechanisms connecting dietary macronutrient composition and metabolism. Our data identify FGF21 as a critical endocrine signal for dietary protein restriction. This project will further test this funcional relationship by definitively determining whether FGF21 is an essential mediator of the metabolic and behavioral responses to dietary protein restriction. This project will exert a significant and sustained impact on the field by identifying molecular detectors of protein availability, redefinin the physiological role of FGF21, and identifying new dietary and molecular strategies for the regulation of metabolism.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
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Integrative Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes Study Section (IPOD)
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Silva, Corinne M
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Lsu Pennington Biomedical Research Center
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Baton Rouge
United States
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Hill, Cristal M; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf; Münzberg, Heike et al. (2018) Homeostatic sensing of dietary protein restriction: A case for FGF21. Front Neuroendocrinol 51:125-131
Yu, Sangho; Cheng, Helia; François, Marie et al. (2018) Preoptic leptin signaling modulates energy balance independent of body temperature regulation. Elife 7:
Hill, Cristal M; Morrison, Christopher D (2018) Dietary branched chain amino acids and metabolic health: when less is more. J Physiol 596:555-556
Hao, Zheng; Leigh Townsend, R; Mumphrey, Michael B et al. (2018) Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery-Induced Weight Loss and Metabolic Improvements Are Similar in TGR5-Deficient and Wildtype Mice. Obes Surg :
Hill, Cristal M; Laeger, Thomas; Albarado, Diana C et al. (2017) Low protein-induced increases in FGF21 drive UCP1-dependent metabolic but not thermoregulatory endpoints. Sci Rep 7:8209
Qualls-Creekmore, Emily; Yu, Sangho; Francois, Marie et al. (2017) Galanin-Expressing GABA Neurons in the Lateral Hypothalamus Modulate Food Reward and Noncompulsive Locomotion. J Neurosci 37:6053-6065
Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf; Münzberg, Heike; Morrison, Christopher D (2017) Blaming the Brain for Obesity: Integration of Hedonic and Homeostatic Mechanisms. Gastroenterology 152:1728-1738
Yu, Sangho; Qualls-Creekmore, Emily; Rezai-Zadeh, Kavon et al. (2016) Glutamatergic Preoptic Area Neurons That Express Leptin Receptors Drive Temperature-Dependent Body Weight Homeostasis. J Neurosci 36:5034-46
Morrison, Christopher D; Hao, Zheng; Mumphrey, Michael B et al. (2016) Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is effective in fibroblast growth factor-21 deficient mice. Mol Metab 5:1006-14
Henagan, Tara M; Laeger, Thomas; Navard, Alexandra M et al. (2016) Hepatic autophagy contributes to the metabolic response to dietary protein restriction. Metabolism 65:805-15

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