Myonectin deletion promotes adipose fat storage and reduces liver steatosis

FASEB J. 2019 Jul;33(7):8666-8687. doi: 10.1096/fj.201900520R. Epub 2019 Apr 19.


We recently described myonectin (also known as erythroferrone) as a novel skeletal muscle-derived myokine with metabolic functions. Here, we use a genetic mouse model to determine myonectin's requirement for metabolic homeostasis. Female myonectin-deficient mice had larger gonadal fat pads and developed mild insulin resistance when fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and had reduced food intake during refeeding after an unfed period but were otherwise indistinguishable from wild-type littermates. Male mice lacking myonectin, however, had reduced physical activity when fed ad libitum and in the postprandial state but not during the unfed period. When stressed with an HFD, myonectin-knockout male mice had significantly elevated VLDL-triglyceride (TG) and strikingly impaired lipid clearance from circulation following an oral lipid load. Fat distribution between adipose and liver was also altered in myonectin-deficient male mice fed an HFD. Greater fat storage resulted in significantly enlarged adipocytes and was associated with increased postprandial lipoprotein lipase activity in adipose tissue. Parallel to this was a striking reduction in liver steatosis due to significantly reduced TG accumulation. Liver metabolite profiling revealed additional significant changes in bile acids and 1-carbon metabolism pathways. Combined, our data affirm the physiologic importance of myonectin in regulating local and systemic lipid metabolism.-Little, H. C., Rodriguez, S., Lei, X., Tan, S. Y., Stewart, A. N., Sahagun, A., Sarver, D. C., Wong, G. W. Myonectin deletion promotes adipose fat storage and reduces liver steatosis.

Keywords: carbohydrate metabolism; diabetes; lipid metabolism; myokine; obesity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adiposity / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Fatty Liver / genetics*
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism*
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Female
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Insulin / genetics
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / genetics
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Triglycerides / genetics
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Erfe protein, mouse
  • Insulin
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Triglycerides
  • very low density lipoprotein triglyceride