Published online Jun 7, 2023. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v29.i21.3280
Peer-review started: March 6, 2023
First decision: March 18, 2023
Revised: March 31, 2023
Accepted: May 8, 2023
Article in press: May 8, 2023
Published online: June 7, 2023
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 15/19, which is expressed in and secreted from the distal ileum, can regulate hepatic glucose metabolism in an endocrine manner. The levels of both bile acids (BAs) and FGF15/19 are elevated after bariatric surgery. However, it is unclear whether the increase in FGF15/19 is induced by BAs. Moreover, it remains to be understood whether FGF15/19 elevations contribute to improvements in hepatic glucose metabolism after bariatric surgery.
To investigate the mechanism of improvement of hepatic glucose metabolism by elevated BAs after sleeve gastrectomy (SG).
By calculating and comparing the changes of body weight after SG with SHAM group, we examined the weight-loss effect of SG. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) test and area under the curve of OGTT curves were used to assess the anti-diabetic effects of SG. By detecting the glycogen content, expression and activity of glycogen synthase as well as the glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck), we evaluated the hepatic glycogen content and gluconeogenesis activity. We examined the levels of total BA (TBA) together with the farnesoid X receptor (FXR)-agonistic BA subspecies in systemic serum and portal vein at week 12 post-surgery. Then the histological expression of ileal FXR and FGF15 and hepatic FGF receptor 4 (FGFR4) with its corresponding signal pathways involved in glucose metabolism were detected.
After surgery, food intake and body weight gain of SG group was decreased compare with the SHAM group. The hepatic glycogen content and glycogen synthase activity was significantly stimulated after SG, while the expression of the key enzyme for hepatic gluconeogenesis: G6Pase and Pepck, were depressed. TBA levels in serum and portal vein were both elevated after SG, the FXR-agonistic BA subspecies: Chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), lithocholic acid (LCA) in serum and CDCA, DCA, LCA in portal vein were all higher in SG group than that in SHAM group. Consequently, the ileal expression of FXR and FGF15 were also advanced in SG group. Moreover, the hepatic expression of FGFR4 was stimulated in SG-operated rats. As a result, the activity of its corresponding pathway for glycogen synthesis: FGFR4-Ras-extracellular signal regulated kinase pathway was stimulated, while the corresponding pathway for hepatic gluconeogenesis: FGFR4- cAMP regulatory element-binding protein- peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α pathway was suppressed.
Elevated BAs after SG induced FGF15 expression in distal ileum by activating their receptor FXR. Furthermore, the promoted FGF15 partly mediated the improving effects on hepatic glucose metabolism of SG.
Core Tip: Sleeve gastrectomy (SG) improves hepatic glucose metabolism and alleviates type 2 diabetes mellitus through the intestine-liver crosstalk mediated by fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15). Following SG, bile acids are elevated, inducing the expression and secretion of FGF15 via the activation of farnesoid X receptor in the ileum. FGF15 then acts as an endocrine factor to promote glycogen synthesis and inhibit gluconeogenesis in the liver by specifically stimulating hepatic FGF receptor 4 and its corresponding signaling pathways.