Fibroblast growth factor induced Ucp1 expression in preadipocytes requires PGE2 biosynthesis and glycolytic flux

Thomas Gantert, Fiona Henkel, Christine Wurmser, Josef Oeckl, Lena Fischer, Mark Haid, Jerzy Adamski, Julia Esser-von Bieren, Martin Klingenspor, Tobias Fromme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


High uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1) expression is a characteristic of differentiated brown adipocytes and is linked to adipogenic differentiation. Paracrine fibroblast growth factor 8b (FGF8b) strongly induces Ucp1 transcription in white adipocytes independent of adipogenesis. Here, we report that FGF8b and other paracrine FGFs act on brown and white preadipocytes to upregulate Ucp1 expression via a FGFR1-MEK1/2-ERK1/2 axis, independent of adipogenesis. Transcriptomic analysis revealed an upregulation of prostaglandin biosynthesis and glycolysis upon Fgf8b treatment of preadipocytes. Oxylipin measurement by LC-MS/MS in FGF8b conditioned media identified prostaglandin E2 as a putative mediator of FGF8b induced Ucp1 transcription. RNA interference and pharmacological inhibition of the prostaglandin E2 biosynthetic pathway confirmed that PGE2 is causally involved in the control over Ucp1 transcription. Importantly, impairment of or failure to induce glycolytic flux blunted the induction of Ucp1, even in the presence of PGE2. Lastly, a screening of transcription factors identified Nrf1 and Hes1 as required regulators of FGF8b induced Ucp1 expression. Thus, we conclude that paracrine FGFs co-regulate prostaglandin and glucose metabolism to induce Ucp1 expression in a Nrf1/Hes1-dependent manner in preadipocytes, revealing a novel regulatory network in control of Ucp1 expression in a formerly unrecognized cell type.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21572
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Fgf signaling
  • Fgf8
  • PGE
  • Ucp1
  • glucose metabolism
  • glycolysis
  • paracrine fibroblast growth factor
  • preadipocyte
  • prostaglandin
  • uncoupling protein 1


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