Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine 1 (MIC-1/GDF15) Decreases Food Intake, Body Weight and Improves Glucose Tolerance in Mice on Normal & Obesogenic Diets

03 January 2017

Food intake and body weight are controlled by a variety of central and peripheral factors, but the exact mechanisms behind these processes are still not fully understood. Here we show that that macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1/GDF15), known to have anorexigenic effects particularly in cancer, provides protection against the development of obesity. Both under a normal chow diet and an obesogenic diet, the transgenic overexpression of MIC-1/GDF15 in mice leads to decreased body weight and fat mass. This lean phenotype was associated with decreased spontaneous but not fasting-induced food intake, on a background of unaltered energy expenditure and reduced physical activity. Importantly, the overexpression of MIC-1/GDF15 improved glucose tolerance, both under normal and high fat-fed conditions. Altogether, this work shows that the molecule MIC-1/GDF15 might be beneficial for the treatment of obesity as well as perturbations in glucose homeostasis.