Coordinated control of energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis requires communication between organs and tissues. We identified a neuronal pathway that participates in the cross talk between the liver and adipose tissue. By studying a mouse model, we showed that adenovirus-mediated expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ2 in the liver induces acute hepatic steatosis while markedly decreasing peripheral adiposity. These changes were accompanied by increased energy expenditure and improved systemic insulin sensitivity. Hepatic vagotomy and selective afferent blockage of the hepatic vagus revealed that the effects on peripheral tissues involve the afferent vagal nerve. Furthermore, an antidiabetic thiazolidinedione, a PPARγ agonist, enhanced this pathway. This neuronal pathway from the liver may function to protect against metabolic perturbation induced by excessive energy storage.
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