Research ArticleMetabolism

Enhancing natriuretic peptide signaling in adipose tissue, but not in muscle, protects against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance

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Sci. Signal.  25 Jul 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 489, eaam6870
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aam6870

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When fat is more important than muscle

Although natriuretic peptides were originally identified as modifiers of blood pressure, they also exert metabolic effects, and obese individuals have decreased circulating natriuretic peptide concentrations. Wu et al. sought to determine whether these metabolic effects were exerted by signaling in skeletal muscle or adipose tissue. Mice with an adipose tissue–specific deficiency in the natriuretic peptide clearance receptor, which acts to limit natriuretic peptide signaling, were protected from the detrimental metabolic effects of diet-induced obesity, such as insulin resistance, inflammation, and hepatic steatosis. In contrast, mice with a muscle-specific deficiency in the clearance receptor gained weight and developed insulin resistance on a high-fat diet, similar to wild-type mice. These findings suggest that enhancing natriuretic peptide signaling in adipose tissue could be a way to counteract obesity.