Global deletion of MGL in mice delays lipid absorption and alters energy homeostasis and diet-induced obesity

J Lipid Res. 2015 Jun;56(6):1153-71. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M058586. Epub 2015 Apr 4.


Monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) is a ubiquitously expressed enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of monoacylglycerols (MGs) to yield FFAs and glycerol. MGL contributes to energy homeostasis through the mobilization of fat stores and also via the degradation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol. To further examine the role of MG metabolism in energy homeostasis, MGL(-/-) mice were fed either a 10% (kilocalories) low-fat diet (LFD) or a 45% (kilocalories) high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. Profound increases of MG species in the MGL(-/-) mice compared with WT control mice were found. Weight gain over the 12 weeks was blunted in both diet groups. MGL(-/-) mice were leaner than WT mice at both baseline and after 12 weeks of LFD feeding. Circulating lipids were decreased in HFD-fed MGL(-/-) mice, as were the levels of several plasma peptides involved in glucose homeostasis and energy balance. Interestingly, MGL(-/-) mice had markedly reduced intestinal TG secretion following an oral fat challenge, suggesting delayed lipid absorption. Overall, the results indicate that global MGL deletion leads to systemic changes that produce a leaner phenotype and an improved serum metabolic profile.

Keywords: monoacylglycerol lipase; monoacylglycerols; monoglycerides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Fats / blood*
  • Endocannabinoids / blood
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics*
  • Homeostasis
  • Lipids / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases / blood*
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases / genetics
  • Monoglycerides / blood
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Weight Gain / genetics*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Lipids
  • Monoglycerides
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases