Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab.: co-auth.: L.Fajas

 2018 Jun 26. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00182.2018. [Epub ahead of print]

β-Klotho deficiency shifts the gut-liver bile acid axis and induces hepatic alterations in mice.


β-Klotho (encoded by Klb) is an obligate co-receptor mediating both fibroblast growth factor (FGF)15 and FGF21 signaling. Klb-/- mice are refractory to metabolic FGF15 and FGF21 action and exhibit derepressed (increased) bile acid (BA) synthesis. Here, we deeply phenotyped male Klb-/- mice on a pure C57BL/6J genetic background fed a chow diet, focusing on metabolic aspects. This aims to better understand the physiological consequences of concomitant FGF15 and FGF21 signaling deficiency, in particular on the gut-liver axis. Klb-/- mice present permanent growth restriction independent of adiposity and energy balance. Klb-/- mice also exhibit few changes in carbohydrate metabolism, combining normal gluco-tolerance, insulin sensitivity and fasting response with increased gluconeogenic capacity and decreased glycogen mobilization. Livers of Klb-/- mice reveal pathologic features, including a pro-inflammatory status and initiation of fibrosis. These defects are associated to a massive shift in BA composition in the enterohepatic system and blood circulation featured by a large excess of microbiota-derived deoxycholic acid (DCA), classically known for its genotoxicity in the gastrointestinal tract. In conclusion, β-Klotho is a gatekeeper of hepatic integrity, through direct action (mediating FGF21 anti-inflammatory signaling) and indirect mechanisms (mediating FGF15 signaling that maintain BA level and composition).


Beta-Klotho; Bile acid; Deoxycholic acid; Fibroblast Growth Factor; inflammation

PMID: 29944388