We hypothesized that skeletal muscle contraction produces a cellular stress signal, triggering adipose tissue lipolysis to sustain fuel availability during exercise. The present study aimed at identifying exercise-regulated myokines, also known as exerkines, able to promote lipolysis. Human primary myotubes from lean healthy volunteers were submitted to electrical pulse stimulation (EPS) to mimic either acute intense or chronic moderate exercise. Conditioned media (CM) experiments with human adipocytes were performed. CM and human plasma samples were analyzed using unbiased proteomic screening and/or ELISA. Real-time qPCR was performed in cultured myotubes and muscle biopsy samples. CM from both acute intense and chronic moderate exercise increased basal lipolysis in human adipocytes. Growth and differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) gene expression and secretion increased rapidly upon skeletal muscle contraction. GDF15 protein was upregulated in CM from both acute and chronic exercise–stimulated myotubes. We further showed that physiological concentrations of recombinant GDF15 protein increased lipolysis in human adipose tissue, while blocking GDF15 with a neutralizing antibody abrogated EPS CM-mediated lipolysis. We herein provide the first evidence to our knowledge that GDF15 is a potentially novel exerkine produced by skeletal muscle contraction and able to target human adipose tissue to promote lipolysis.
Claire Laurens, Anisha Parmar, Enda Murphy, Deborah Carper, Benjamin Lair, Pauline Maes, Julie Vion, Nathalie Boulet, Coralie Fontaine, Marie Marquès, Dominique Larrouy, Isabelle Harant, Claire Thalamas, Emilie Montastier, Sylvie Caspar-Bauguil, Virginie Bourlier, Geneviève Tavernier, Jean-Louis Grolleau, Anne Bouloumié, Dominique Langin, Nathalie Viguerie, Fabrice Bertile, Stéphane Blanc, Isabelle de Glisezinski, Donal O’Gorman, Cedric Moro