Role of muscle IL-6 in gender-specific metabolism in mice

Amalia Molinero, Antonio Fernandez-Perez, Aina Mogas, Mercedes Giralt, Gemma Comes, Olaya Fernandez-Gayol, Mario Vallejo, Juan Hidalgo

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24 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Molinero et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The aim of the present work was to further explore the physiological roles of muscle-derived IL-6. Adult-floxed and conditional skeletal muscle IL-6 knock out male and female mice were used to study energy expenditure (indirect calorimetry at rest and during treadmill exercise, and body temperature cycle during the light phase) and energy intake (response to fast/ refeeding). We also evaluated the responses to leptin and the activity of the insulin signalling pathway in skeletal muscle and liver by phosphorylation of Akt at Ser 473. The stress response was also studied. Results indicate a relevant role of muscle IL-6 in maintaining energy homeostasis, especially in males. Absence of muscle IL-6 in male mice results in lower core body temperature in the light phase, increased respiratory exchange ratio (RER) both at rest and during exercise, increased expression of TCA cycle marked gene, citrate synthase in muscle, reduced fat storage and decreased body weight and food consumption in response to leptin. In females, muscle IL-6 deficiency increases VO 2 and CO 2 levels similarly. Also in contrast to males, energy expenditure (EE) measured over 48h reveals a significant elevation in female mice with muscle IL-6 deficiency; moreover, they show a modified response to fasting-refeeding and to restraint stress. The present results contribute to the understanding of the role of muscle IL-6 in male and female mouse metabolism, not only during exercise but also in the basal state and in situations where energy balance is altered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0173675
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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