Glibenclamide promotes FGF21 secretion in interscapular BAT and attenuates depression-like behaviors in male mice with HFD-induced obesity

Yi Ying Kuo, Hao Yeh Tsai, Yu Min Kuo, Shun Fen Tzeng, Po See Chen, Po Hung Hsu, Ya Tin Lin, Pei Chun Chen

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims: Epidemiological evidence suggests that comorbidity of obesity and depression is extremely common and continues to grow in prevalence. However, the mechanisms connecting these two conditions are unknown. In this study, we explored how treatment with KATP channel blocker glibenclamide (GB) or the well-known metabolic regulator FGF21 impact male mice with high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and depressive-like behaviors. Materials and methods: Mice were fed with HFD for 12 weeks and then treated with recombinant FGF21 protein by infusion for 2 weeks, followed by intraperitoneal injection of 3 mg/kg recombinant FGF21 once per day for 4 days. Measurements were made of catecholamine levels, energy expenditure, biochemical endpoints and behavior tests, including sucrose preference and forced swim tests were. Alternatively, animals were infused with GB into brown adipose tissue (BAT). The WT-1 brown adipocyte cell line was used for molecular studies. Key findings: Compared to HFD controls, HFD + FGF21 mice exhibited less severe metabolic disorder symptoms, improved depressive-like behaviors, and more extensive mesolimbic dopamine projections. FGF21 treatment also rescued HFD-induced dysregulation of FGF21 receptors (FGFR1 and co-receptor β-klotho) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and it altered dopaminergic neuron activity and morphology in HFD-fed mice. Importantly, we also found that FGF21 mRNA level and FGF21 release were increased in BAT after administration of GB, and GB treatment to BAT reversed HFD-induced dysregulation of FGF21 receptors in the VTA. Significance: GB administration to BAT stimulates FGF21 production in BAT, corrects HFD-induced dysregulation of FGF21 receptor dimers in VTA dopaminergic neurons, and attenuates depression-like symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121900
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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