Natriuretic peptides/cGMP/cGMP-dependent protein kinase cascades promote muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and prevent obesity

Diabetes. 2009 Dec;58(12):2880-92. doi: 10.2337/db09-0393. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Objective: Natriuretic peptides (NPs) have been characterized as vascular hormones that regulate vascular tone via guanylyl cyclase (GC), cyclic GMP (cGMP), and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGK). Recent clinical studies have shown that plasma NP levels were lower in subjects with the metabolic syndrome. The present study was conducted to elucidate the roles for NP/cGK cascades in energy metabolism.

Research design and methods: We used three types of genetically engineered mice: brain NP (BNP) transgenic (BNP-Tg), cGK-Tg, and guanylyl cyclase-A (GCA) heterozygous knockout (GCA(+/-)) mice and analyzed the metabolic consequences of chronic activation of NP/cGK cascades in vivo. We also examined the effect of NPs in cultured myocytes.

Results: BNP-Tg mice fed on high-fat diet were protected against diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, and cGK-Tg mice had reduced body weight even on standard diet; surprisingly, giant mitochondria were densely packed in the skeletal muscle. Both mice showed an increase in muscle mitochondrial content and fat oxidation through upregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1alpha and PPARdelta. The functional NP receptors, GCA and guanylyl cyclase-B, were downregulated by feeding a high-fat diet, while GCA(+/-) mice showed increases in body weight and glucose intolerance when fed a high-fat diet. NPs directly increased the expression of PGC-1alpha and PPARdelta and mitochondrial content in cultured myocytes.

Conclusions: The findings together suggest that NP/cGK cascades can promote muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and fat oxidation, as to prevent obesity and glucose intolerance. The vascular hormone, NP, would contribute to coordinated regulation of oxygen supply and consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Cells / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / metabolism
  • Natriuretic Peptides / metabolism*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • PPAR delta / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors
  • Up-Regulation


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Natriuretic Peptides
  • PPAR delta
  • PPAR gamma
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Ppargc1a protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Protein Kinases
  • Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • atrial natriuretic factor receptor A
  • Cyclic GMP

Associated data

  • GENBANK/NM007505
  • GENBANK/NM008904
  • GENBANK/NM009463
  • GENBANK/NM009464
  • GENBANK/NM009941
  • GENBANK/NM009948
  • GENBANK/NM011145
  • GENBANK/NM011977
  • GENBANK/NM015729