Miguel Ángel Gómez-Sámano , Mariana Grajales-Gómez , Julia María Zuarth-Vázquez , Ma. Fernanda Navarro-Flores , Mayela Martínez-Saavedra , Óscar Alfredo Juárez-León , Mariana G. Morales-García , Víctor Manuel Enríquez-Estrada , Francisco J. Gómez-Pérez , Daniel Cuevas-Ramos *
22 December 2016
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine-member of the FGF family. It is synthesized mainly in the liver, but it is also expressed in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and many other organs. It has a key role in glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as in energy balance. FGF21 concentration in plasma is increased in patients with obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. Recent findings suggest that such increment protects tissue from an increased oxidative stress environment. Different types of physical stress, such as strenuous exercising, lactation, diabetic nephropathy, cardiovascular disease, and critical illnesses, also increase FGF21 circulating concentration. FGF21 is now considered a stress-responsive hormone in humans. The discovery of an essential response element in the FGF21 gene, for the activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), involved in the regulation of oxidative stress, and its relation with genes such as NRF2, TBP-2, UCP3, SOD2, ERK, and p38, places FGF21 as a key regulator of the oxidative stress cell response. Its role in chronic diseases and its involvement in the treatment and follow-up of these diseases has been recently the target of new studies. The diminished oxidative stress through FGF21 pathways observed with anti-diabetic therapy is another clue of the new insights of this hormone.