Research ArticleMetabolic Disease

Endothelial APLNR regulates tissue fatty acid uptake and is essential for apelin’s glucose-lowering effects

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Science Translational Medicine  13 Sep 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 407, eaad4000
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad4000

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An apelin a day keeps the doctor away

Apelin is an atheroprotective protein, which promotes insulin sensitivity and metabolic health, but the details of its signaling are not well understood. Hwangbo et al. discovered that the apelin receptor is predominantly localized in endothelial cells of metabolic organs, such as muscle and adipose tissues, and that it functions, in part, by inhibiting fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) activity. The authors also found that inhibition of FABP4 can reverse the metabolic disease phenotype associated with defective apelin signaling and thus improve fatty acid uptake, glucose utilization, and insulin sensitivity.