TGF-b Superfamily Cytokine MIC-1/GDF15 Is a Physiological Appetite and Body Weight Regulator03 January 2017
The TGF-b superfamily cytokine MIC-1/GDF15 circulates in all humans and when overproduced in cancer leads to anorexia/cachexia, by direct action on brain feeding centres. In these studies we have examined the role of physiologically relevant levels of MIC-1/GDF15 in the regulation of appetite, body weight and basal metabolic rate. MIC-1/GDF15 gene knockout mice (MIC-1−/−) weighed more and had increased adiposity, which was associated with increased spontaneous food intake. Female MIC-1−/− mice exhibited some additional alterations in reduced basal energy expenditure and physical activity, possibly owing to the associated decrease in total lean mass. Further, infusion of human recombinant MIC-1/GDF15 sufficient to raise serum levels in MIC-1−/− mice to within the normal human range reduced body weight and food intake. Taken together, our findings suggest that MIC-1/GDF15 is involved in the physiological regulation of appetite and energy storage.