Irisin as a muscle-derived hormone stimulating thermogenesis – A critical update
Tobias Hofmann Peptides Volume 54, April 2014, Pages 89–100
• Irisin was proposed to be induced by exercise and to stimulate the browning of fat.
• Irisin was suggested to be a treatment option for obesity and diabetes mellitus.
• However, results of subsequent studies were partly conflicting.
• The main function of irisin may yet to be discovered.
• Several gaps of knowledge remain to be filled (receptor, regulation, processing).
The recently described myokine, irisin is cleaved from fibronectin type III domain containing protein 5 (FNDC5) and has been proposed to be secreted upon exercise to promote the browning of beige fat cells in white adipose tissue that results in enhanced thermogenesis and increased energy expenditure. The initial studies suggested irisin as a treatment option for obesity and associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and stimulated further research. However, the results of subsequent studies investigating the regulation of irisin by different types of exercise are partly conflicting and effects were only shown in highly selective patient populations so far. Moreover, other parameters like body weight or fat free mass were shown to influence irisin adding more complexity to the mechanisms regulating this hormone. The present review will describe the discovery of irisin, its potential role in adipose tissue-mediated thermogenesis, its regulation by exercise and lastly, discuss current controversies and highlight gaps of knowledge to be filled by future studies.
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