Circulating fibroblast growth factors as metabolic regulators--a critical appraisal

Cell Metab. 2012 Dec 5;16(6):693-705. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.11.001.


The circulating FGFs are a new group of proteins believed to function as classic hormones. With emphasis on human metabolism, we critically review current data, and propose that--although a number of questions remain--circulating FGF23 is pivotal in the control of phosphate and vitamin D metabolism, and may have additional systemic effects, particularly in chronic kidney disease; that FGF19 signaling is important for the regulation of bile acid metabolism, whereas its physiological role in promoting glucose and lipid metabolism is less well understood; and that the physiological role of circulating FGF21 in metabolic homeostasis warrants further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism
  • Metabolic Diseases / pathology
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • FGF19 protein, human
  • FGF23 protein, human
  • Phosphates
  • fibroblast growth factor 21
  • Vitamin D
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23