Leptin regulates the expression of angiopoietin-like 6

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Jul 20;502(3):397-402. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.05.180. Epub 2018 May 30.


Angiopoietin-like 6 (ANGPTL6) is a hepatokine that antagonizes obesity and insulin resistance by increasing energy expenditure. Despite its beneficial effects on metabolism, human studies have shown a paradoxical increase in ANGPTL6 level in the serum of patients with metabolic diseases, which has been interpreted as a compensatory upregulation. However, the regulatory mechanism of ANGPTL6 remains unclear. Since upregulation of ANGPTL6 is induced on metabolic stress, we investigated the hepatic expression of ANGPTL6 by leptin, a representative adipokine of obesity. Mice on a high-fat diet showed increased serum leptin levels and hepatic Angptl6 expression, which were attenuated by exercise training. A single leptin injection also induced hepatic ANGPTL6 expression and increased serum ANGPTL6 levels. In an in vitro model using primary hepatocytes, leptin treatment significantly upregulated ANGPTL6 expression at the mRNA and protein levels, as well as the amount of secreted ANGPTL6 protein in conditioned media. Similarly, exercise training on human participants also showed diminished serum levels of leptin and ANGPTL6. Altogether, these results strongly indicated that hepatic ANGPTL6 expression was determined by leptin.

Keywords: ANGPTL6; Exercise; Gene expression regulation; Leptin; Liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiopoietin-like Proteins / blood*
  • Angiopoietin-like Proteins / genetics*
  • Angiopoietin-like Proteins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Up-Regulation


  • ANGPTL6 protein, human
  • Angiopoietin-like Proteins
  • Angptl6 protein, mouse
  • Leptin