Germline ablation of VGF increases lipolysis in white adipose tissue

Samira Fargali, Thomas Scherer, Andrew C. Shin, Masato Sadahiro, Christoph Buettner, Stephen R. Salton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Targeted deletion of VGF, a neuronal and endocrine secreted protein and neuropeptide precursor, produces a lean, hypermetabolic mouse that is resistant to diet-, lesion-, and genetically induced obesity and diabetes. We hypothesized that increased sympathetic nervous system activity in Vgf-/Vgf- knockout mice is responsible for increased energy expenditure and decreased fat storage and that increased β-adrenergic receptor stimulation induces lipolysis in white adipose tissue (WAT) of Vgf-/Vgf- mice. We found that fat mass was markedly reduced in Vgf-/Vgf- mice. Within knockout WAT, phosphorylation of protein kinase A substrate increased in males and females, phosphorylation of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) (ser563) increased in females, and levels of adipose triglyceride lipase, comparative gene identification-58, and phosphoperilipin were higher in male Vgf-/Vgf- WAT compared with wild-type, consistent with increased lipolysis. The phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) (Thr172) and levels of the AMPK kinase, transforming growth factor β-activated kinase 1, were decreased. This was associated with a decrease in HSL ser565 phosphorylation, the site phosphorylated by AMPK, in both male and female Vgf-/Vgf- WAT. No significant differences in phosphorylation of CREB or the p42/44 MAPK were noted. Despite this evidence supporting increased cAMP signaling and lipolysis, lipogenesis as assessed by fatty acid synthase protein expression and phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase was not decreased. Our data suggest that the VGF precursor or selected VGF-derived peptides dampen sympathetic outflow pathway activity to WAT to regulate fat storage and lipolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2012


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