Fibroblast growth factor 21-metabolic role in mice and men

Harald Staiger, Michaela Keuper, Lucia Berti, Martin Hrabě de Angelis, Hans Ulrich Häring

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Since its identification in 2000, the interest of scientists in the hepatokine fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21 has tremendously grown, and still remains high, due to a wealth of very robust data documenting this factor's favorable effects on glucose and lipidmetabolismin mice. For more than ten years now, intense in vivo and ex vivo experimentation addressed the physiological functions of FGF21 in humans as well as its pathophysiological role and pharmacological effects in human metabolic disease. This work produced a comprehensive collection of data revealing overlaps in FGF21 expression and function but also significant differences between mice and humans that have to be considered before translation from bench to bedside can be successful. This review summarizes what is known about FGF21 in mice and humans with a special focus on this factor's role in glucose and lipid metabolism and in metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. We highlight the discrepancies between mice and humans and try to decipher their underlying reasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-488
Number of pages21
JournalEndocrine Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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