Menopause is associated with bone loss and enhanced visceral adiposity. A polyclonal antibody that targets the β-subunit of the pituitary hormone follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) increases bone mass in mice. Here, we report that this antibody sharply reduces adipose tissue in wild-type mice, phenocopying genetic haploinsufficiency for the Fsh receptor gene Fshr. The antibody also causes profound beiging, increases cellular mitochondrial density, activates brown adipose tissue and enhances thermogenesis. These actions result from the specific binding of the antibody to the β-subunit of Fsh to block its action. Our studies uncover opportunities for simultaneously treating obesity and osteoporosis.
This is a preview of subscription content
Subscription info for Chinese customers
We have a dedicated website for our Chinese customers. Please go to naturechina.com to subscribe to this journal.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Randolph, J. F. Jr et al. The value of follicle-stimulating hormone concentration and clinical findings as markers of the late menopausal transition. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 91, 3034–3040 (2006)
Sowers, M. R. et al. Endogenous hormones and bone turnover markers in pre- and perimenopausal women: SWAN. Osteoporos. Int. 14, 191–197 (2003)
Thurston, R. C. et al. Gains in body fat and vasomotor symptom reporting over the menopausal transition: the study of women’s health across the nation. Am. J. Epidemiol. 170, 766–774 (2009)
Van Pelt, R. E., Gavin, K. M. & Kohrt, W. M. Regulation of body composition and bioenergetics by estrogens. Endocrinol. Metab. Clin. North Am. 44, 663–676 (2015)
Sun, L. et al. FSH directly regulates bone mass. Cell 125, 247–260 (2006)
Zhu, L. L. et al. Blocking antibody to the β-subunit of FSH prevents bone loss by inhibiting bone resorption and stimulating bone synthesis. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 14574–14579 (2012)
Zhu, L. L. et al. Blocking FSH action attenuates osteoclastogenesis. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 422, 54–58 (2012)
Cohen, P. & Spiegelman, B. M. Brown and beige fat: molecular parts of a thermogenic machine. Diabetes 64, 2346–2351 (2015)
Cypess, A. M. & Kahn, C. R. Brown fat as a therapy for obesity and diabetes. Curr. Opin. Endocrinol. Diabetes Obes. 17, 143–149 (2010)
Galmozzi, A. et al. ThermoMouse: an in vivo model to identify modulators of UCP1 expression in brown adipose tissue. Cell Reports 9, 1584–1593 (2014)
Kim, M. et al. Fish oil intake induces UCP1 upregulation in brown and white adipose tissue via the sympathetic nervous system. Sci. Rep. 5, 18013 (2015)
Petruzzelli, M. et al. A switch from white to brown fat increases energy expenditure in cancer-associated cachexia. Cell Metab. 20, 433–447 (2014)
Boström, P. et al. A PGC1-α-dependent myokine that drives brown-fat-like development of white fat and thermogenesis. Nature 481, 463–468 (2012)
Rao, R. R. et al. Meteorin-like is a hormone that regulates immune-adipose interactions to increase beige fat thermogenesis. Cell 157, 1279–1291 (2014)
Colaianni, G. et al. The myokine irisin increases cortical bone mass. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 112, 12157–12162 (2015)
Danilovich, N. et al. Estrogen deficiency, obesity, and skeletal abnormalities in follicle-stimulating hormone receptor knockout (FORKO) female mice. Endocrinology 141, 4295–4308 (2000)
Jones, M. E. et al. Aromatase-deficient (ArKO) mice accumulate excess adipose tissue. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 79, 3–9 (2001)
Lindberg, M. K. et al. Estrogen receptor specificity for the effects of estrogen in ovariectomized mice. J. Endocrinol. 174, 167–178 (2002)
Cui, H. et al. FSH stimulates lipid biosynthesis in chicken adipose tissue by upregulating the expression of its receptor FSHR. J. Lipid Res. 53, 909–917 (2012)
Liu, X. M. et al. FSH regulates fat accumulation and redistribution in aging through the Gαi/Ca2+/CREB pathway. Aging Cell 14, 409–420 (2015)
Wu, J., Cohen, P. & Spiegelman, B. M. Adaptive thermogenesis in adipocytes: is beige the new brown? Genes Dev. 27, 234–250 (2013)
Jimenez, M. et al. Validation of an ultrasensitive and specific immunofluorometric assay for mouse follicle-stimulating hormone. Biol. Reprod. 72, 78–85 (2005)
Wu, J. et al. Beige adipocytes are a distinct type of thermogenic fat cell in mouse and human. Cell 150, 366–376 (2012)
Jimenez-Preitner, M. et al. Plac8 is an inducer of C/EBPβ required for brown fat differentiation, thermoregulation, and control of body weight. Cell Metab. 14, 658–670 (2011)
Kajimura, S. et al. Initiation of myoblast to brown fat switch by a PRDM16-C/EBP-β transcriptional complex. Nature 460, 1154–1158 (2009)
Rosenwald, M., Perdikari, A., Rülicke, T. & Wolfrum, C. Bi-directional interconversion of brite and white adipocytes. Nat. Cell Biol. 15, 659–667 (2013)
Wang, Q. A., Tao, C., Gupta, R. K. & Scherer, P. E. Tracking adipogenesis during white adipose tissue development, expansion and regeneration. Nat. Med. 19, 1338–1344 (2013)
Cedikova, M. et al. Mitochondria in white, brown, and beige adipocytes. Stem Cells Int. 2016, 6067349 (2016)
Shabalina, I. G. et al. UCP1 in brite/beige adipose tissue mitochondria is functionally thermogenic. Cell Reports 5, 1196–1203 (2013)
Pham, A. H., McCaffery, J. M. & Chan, D. C. Mouse lines with photo-activatable mitochondria to study mitochondrial dynamics. Genesis 50, 833–843 (2012)
Abe, E. et al. TSH is a negative regulator of skeletal remodeling. Cell 115, 151–162 (2003)
Sun, L. et al. Functions of vasopressin and oxytocin in bone mass regulation. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 164–169 (2016)
Zaidi, M. Skeletal remodeling in health and disease. Nat. Med. 13, 791–801 (2007)
Giordano, A., Frontini, A. & Cinti, S. Convertible visceral fat as a therapeutic target to curb obesity. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 15, 405–424 (2016)
Cinti, S. Adipose tissues and obesity. Ital. J. Anat. Embryol. 104, 37–51 (1999)
Kawai, H., Furuhashi, M. & Suganuma, N. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone level is a predictor of bone mineral density in patients with hormone replacement therapy. Arch. Gynecol. Obstet. 269, 192–195 (2004)
Ryu, J. W. et al. DHEA administration increases brown fat uncoupling protein 1 levels in obese OLETF rats. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 303, 726–731 (2003)
Després, J. P. & Lemieux, I. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome. Nature 444, 881–887 (2006)
Hayes, M. G. et al. Genome-wide association of polycystic ovary syndrome implicates alterations in gonadotropin secretion in European ancestry populations. Nat. Commun. 6, 7502 (2015)
Iqbal, J., Sun, L., Kumar, T. R., Blair, H. C. & Zaidi, M. Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates TNF production from immune cells to enhance osteoblast and osteoclast formation. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 14925–14930 (2006)
Bousfield, G. R., Butnev, V. Y., White, W. K., Hall, A. S. & Harvey, D. J. Comparison of follicle-stimulating hormone glycosylation microheterogenity by quantitative negative mode nano-electrospray mass spectrometry of peptide-n glycanase-released oligosaccharides. J. Glycomics Lipidomics 5, 129 (2015)
Peterson, A. C., Russell, J. D., Bailey, D. J., Westphall, M. S. & Coon, J. J. Parallel reaction monitoring for high resolution and high mass accuracy quantitative, targeted proteomics. Mol. Cell. Proteomics 11, 1475–1488 (2012)
Bunkenborg, J., García, G. E., Paz, M. I., Andersen, J. S. & Molina, H. The minotaur proteome: avoiding cross-species identifications deriving from bovine serum in cell culture models. Proteomics 10, 3040–3044 (2010)
Spivak, M., Weston, J., Bottou, L., Käll, L. & Noble, W. S. Improvements to the percolator algorithm for peptide identification from shotgun proteomics data sets. J. Proteome Res. 8, 3737–3745 (2009)
Silva, J. C., Gorenstein, M. V., Li, G. Z., Vissers, J. P. & Geromanos, S. J. Absolute quantification of proteins by LCMSE: a virtue of parallel MS acquisition. Mol. Cell. Proteomics 5, 144–156 (2006)
Jiang, X. et al. Structure of follicle-stimulating hormone in complex with the entire ectodomain of its receptor. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 12491–12496 (2012)
Abagyan, R ., Totrov, M. & Kuznetsov, D. ICM—a new method for protein modeling and design. Applications to docking and structure prediction from the distorted native conformation. J. Comput. Chem. 15, 488–506 (1994)
Judex, S. et al. Quantification of adiposity in small rodents using micro-CT. Methods 50, 14–19 (2010)
DeMambro, V. E. et al. Igfbp2 deletion in ovariectomized mice enhances energy expenditure but accelerates bone loss. Endocrinology 156, 4129–4140 (2015)
Lublinsky, S., Ozcivici, E. & Judex, S. An automated algorithm to detect the trabecular-cortical bone interface in micro-computed tomographic images. Calcif. Tissue Int. 81, 285–293 (2007)
Sun, L. et al. Disordered osteoclast formation and function in a CD38 (ADP-ribosyl cyclase)-deficient mouse establishes an essential role for CD38 in bone resorption. FASEB J. 17, 369–375 (2003)
Scheller, E. L. et al. Use of osmium tetroxide staining with microcomputerized tomography to visualize and quantify bone marrow adipose tissue in vivo. Methods Enzymol. 537, 123–139 (2014)
van Klinken, J. B., van den Berg, S. A. & van Dijk, K. W. Practical aspects of estimating energy components in rodents. Front. Physiol. 4, 94 (2013)
Van Klinken, J. B., van den Berg, S. A., Havekes, L. M. & Willems Van Dijk, K. Estimation of activity related energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate in freely moving mice from indirect calorimetry data. PLoS One 7, e36162 (2012)
Liu, P. et al. Anabolic actions of Notch on mature bone. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, E2152–E2161 (2016)
Yuen, T., Wurmbach, E., Pfeffer, R. L., Ebersole, B. J. & Sealfon, S. C. Accuracy and calibration of commercial oligonucleotide and custom cDNA microarrays. Nucleic Acids Res. 30, e48 (2002)
Work at Mount Sinai was supported by the NIH (R01 DK80459 and DK113627 (M.Z., T.F.D and L.S.), AG40132, AG23176, AR065932 (M.Z.), and AR067066 (M.Z. and N.G.A.)). Work at Maine Medical Center Research Institute was supported by: NIGMS P30 GM106391, P30 GM103392 and the NIDDK R24 DK092759-06 to C.J.R; Physiology Core Facility P20 GM103465, NIGMS COBRE in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. We are grateful to J. Cao for advice on micro-CT imaging. T.R.K. acknowledges the NIH (P01 AG029531).
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has filed a provisional patent application that covers the application of FSH inhibition to decrease body fat (Provisional US Patent # 62/368,651). M.Z. is listed as inventor. M.Z. will receive royalties and/or licensing fees, according to Mount Sinai policies, if the aforementioned patent is commercialized. M.Z. also consults for Merck, Roche, Novartis, and a number of financial consulting platforms.
Reviewer Information Nature thanks S. Kajimura, S. Teitelbaum and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Publisher's note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Extended data figures and tables
Extended Data Figure 1 Antibody blocks Fsh–Fshr interaction at physiological Fsh concentrations in plasma.
a, Recombinant mouse Fsh (Fshα–Fshβ chimaera, 2 μg) was passed through resin with immobilized polyclonal Fsh antibody or goat IgG. Elution (Eluate), flow-through (Flow), and consecutive wash fractions (Wash) were collected and immunoblotted, as shown, with a mouse monoclonal Fsh antibody (Hf2). b, The sequence of the Fshα–Fshβ chimaera. Peptides from the trypsinized eluate matched by mass spectrometry are marked in red, with the linker peptide shown as red solid circles. The antibody was raised against LVYKDPARPNTQK (green-filled circles). c, The eluted fraction was trypsinized and analysed by LC–MS/MS. Data were extracted and queried against a protein database containing the Fshα–Fshβ chimaera sequence using Proteome Discoverer 1.4 and MASCOT 2.5.1. Oxidated methionine and carbamidomethylated cysteine residues are shown in lower-cased letters (m and c, respectively; see Methods). d, Crystal structure of the human FSH–FSHR complex (PDB code 4AY9; FSHα not shown for clarity) indicates that the loop from the FSHβ subunit (yellow), containing the sequence LVYKDPARPKIQK (highlighted as sticks), tucks into a small groove generated by the FSHR (i). Computational modelling of Fsh bearing the peptide sequence LVYKDPARPNTQK shows an identical binding mode (ii). Positively charged residues (blue) of the peptide surface complement the negatively charged residues (red) of the Fshr binding site to generate strong electrostatic interactions at the binding surface (arrow) (iii). Given the small size of the groove (iv), binding of antibody to the peptide sequence will completely shield Fshβ from entering the Fshr binding pocket. e, We confirmed experimentally that the antibody blocked Fsh action using Thermo cells10, which have a Luc2-T2A-tdTomato transgene inserted at the initiation codon of the Ucp1 gene10. Thermo cells retain BAT capacity and report Ucp1 activation using Luc2 as reporter. The effect of Fsh (30 ng ml−1) and Fsh antibody (concentrations as noted) on Ucp1 expression was tested without fetal bovine serum (no endogenous Fsh) with the Arb3 agonist CL-316,243 (10−7 M). Notably, 1 μg ml−1 Fsh antibody abolished the inhibitory effect of near-circulating levels of Fsh on Ucp1 expression (also see Fig. 3c). Mean ± s.d.; *P ≤ 0.05, **P ≤ 0.01; in triplicate. f, Fsh antibody measured as goat IgG in mouse serum (ELISA) following single injection of antibody (100 μg, intraperitoneally) yielded serum goat IgG (antibody) concentrations that were 10–20-fold higher than those required to inhibit Fsh action in vitro (t1/2 = 25.6 h) n = 3 per group (f). Two-tailed Student’s t-test, mean ± s.e.m.
Extended Data Figure 2 Effect of Fsh antibody on body fat and energy homeostasis in mice fed on a high-fat diet.
a–c, Results in Fig. 1 were confirmed independently by the C.J.R. laboratory using quantitative NMR (qNMR) (n = 12 per group) (a), dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) (n = 12 or 11 per group) (b), and tissue weight measurements for iWAT, gonadal WAT (gWAT) and BAT (n = 9 or 10 per group) (c). d, Effects of Fsh antibody on body fat under thermoneutral (30 °C) conditions. Three-month-old male mice were housed at 30 °C, fed on a high-fat diet, and injected with antibody or IgG (200 μg per mouse per day, intraperitoneally) for 3 weeks for measurements of body weight and fat and lean mass (by qNMR) (n = 3 or 4 per group). e, Indirect calorimetry (metabolic cages) showing 24-h, day and night parameters of thermogenesis, namely O2 consumption (VO2), energy expenditure (EE), resting EE (R-EE), active EE (A-EE), and respiratory quotient (RQ), as well as physical activity parameters, including X-, Y- and Z-breaks, running distance (Wheel Meters), running speed (Wheel Speed), walking distance (Ped Meters) and walking speed (Ped Speed), and food intake (e). The data were independently analysed by J.B.v.K. using penalized Spline (p-Spline) regression, with EE, RMR and A-EE (PA) shown (see Methods for details) (n = 4 per group). f, Plasma noradrenaline levels (HPLC, courtesy R. Jacobs, Yale School of Medicine) measured in samples from groups of 3-month-old female mice treated with antibody or goat IgG (200 μg per mouse per day, intraperitoneally) for 7 weeks, following which half the animals within the respective groups were killed, and the other half were treated with the tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor α-methyl-p-tyrosine (AMPT, 250 mg kg−1, injection repeated after 2 h with 125 mg kg−1, intraperitoneally) (n = 7 or 8 per group). Blood was drawn 2 h after the last AMPT injection. g, Plasma irisin levels (ELISA kit, Phoenix, EK-067-29) were measured following treatment of 3-month-old mice with antibody or goat IgG (200 μg per mouse per day, intraperitoneally, 5 and 7 per group for IgG and antibody, respectively). We also measured serum meteorin-like (metrnl) (ELISA kit, R&D, DY7867); all samples were below assay detection. h, i, GTT (n = 12 per group) (h) or ITT (3 and 4 per group for IgG and antibody, respectively) (i) showed no significant difference between mice receiving Fsh antibody or IgG (AUC: area under curve). j–l, Effect of Fsh antibody or IgG on plasma C-peptide (n = 3 or 4 per group), adiponectin (n = 5 per group) or leptin levels (n = 5 per group); on total cholesterol, triglycerides or free fatty acids (n = 5 per group) (k); and on oestradiol (E2) (n = 5 or 4 per group) (l). Two-tailed Student’s t-test; *P ≤ 0.05, **P ≤ 0.01, ^P = 0.0588, ^^P = 0.065, or as shown; mean ± s.e.m. m, Decomposition of TEE with p-Spline regression (e). Continuous time estimates of the RMR and AEE (PA) (shown as AEE) are shown for a typical calorimetry and activity dataset. The p-Spline regression model estimates the RMR from the correlation in time between the activity and energy expenditure data by minimizing the difference between the actual and predicted energy expenditure (AEE + RMR). By using a spline function instead of a constant intercept in the regression model, natural time variations that occur in the RMR can be determined and accurate estimates of the average RMR and AEE are obtained (for details, see Methods).
Extended Data Figure 3 Fsh antibody markedly reduces high-fat diet-induced obesity in 8-month-old mice.
Effect of Fsh antibody or goat IgG (200 μg per day per mouse, intraperitoneally) injected daily into 8-month-old C57BL/6 male mice (Charles Rovers) pair-fed on high-fat diet (n = 2 or 3 mice per group) (HFD, see Methods). a–c, Food intake and body weight (a), fat mass, FM/TM and LM/TM (b), and TFV, SFV and VFV (coronal and transverse sections; visceral, red; subcutaneous, yellow) (c). Two-tailed Student’s t-test; *P ≤ 0.05; ^P = 0.06, mean ± s.e.m.
Extended Data Figure 4 Fshr-haploinsufficient male mice phenocopy the anti-adiposity action of Fsh antibody and fail to respond to antibody, confirming in vivo antibody specificity.
Effect of Fsh antibody or goat IgG (200 μg per day per mouse intraperitoneally) in male wild-type (Fshr+/+) or Fshr-haploinsufficient (Fshr+/−) mice that were pair-fed on high-fat diet (HFD, see Methods) (n = 3 or 5 mice per group). a, b, Total mass (TM), fat mass (FM), and FM/TM (quantitative NMR) (a), and TFV, SFV and VFV (micro-CT, coronal and transverse sections; visceral, red; subcutaneous, yellow) (b). Ucp1 immunostaining of sWAT sections showed smaller and densely staining beige-like cells in Fshr+/− mice and in antibody-treated wild-type mice. Two-tailed Student’s t-test; *P ≤ 0.05, **P ≤ 0.01; mean ± s.e.m.
Ovariectomized or sham-operated mice on normal chow were injected with Fsh antibody or goat IgG (200 and 400 μg per mouse per day to sham-operated and ovariectomized mice, respectively) (see Methods and Fig. 2). a, Food intake and body weight (n = 5 per group). b, Plasma Fsh and oestrogen (E2) levels (plasma E2 mostly undetectable after ovariectomy) (n = 4 or 5 per group). c, Indirect calorimetry (metabolic cages) showing 24-h RQ, R-EE, A-EE, running distance (Wheel Meters), running speed (Wheel Speed), walking distance (Ped Meters), walking speed (Ped Speed) and food intake (n = 4 per group). d, Fsh antibody or IgG did not alter plasma glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides or free fatty acids (n = 4 or 5 mice per group). Two-tailed Student’s t-test; **P ≤ 0.01, or as shown.
a–f, Three-month-old C56BL/6J female mice were either pair-fed (a–c) or fed ad libitum (d–f) with normal chow and injected with Fsh antibody or IgG (100 μg per mouse per day) for 7 and 5 weeks, respectively. For pair-feeding, the amount of chow consumed ad libitum by the IgG group was given to the antibody-treated group. For ad libitum feeding, the antibody-treated group was allowed ad libitum access to food and the same amount of chow was given to the IgG group, with the leftover chow measured to determine food intake of the IgG group (see Methods). A significant increase in food intake by antibody-treated mice was noted in the ad libitum feeding protocol (d). Nonetheless, as with mice on a high-fat diet, in either feeding protocol (compare with Fig. 1 and Extended Data Fig. 2), antibody treatment caused a substantial decrease in total mass (TM), fat mass (FM) and FM/TM and increase in LM/TM on quantitative NMR (b) in mice that were pair-fed. Body weight (a) was also reduced (see Source Data for P values). However, whereas antibody-treated mice consumed substantially more chow than IgG-injected mice, they showed decreases in FM and FM/TM, but did not show a reduction in TM (e) or body weight (d) (also see Source Data for P values). Micro-CT showed profound decreases in thoracoabdominal fat, visualized in representative coronal and transverse sections (red, visceral fat; yellow, subcutaneous fat), and upon quantification of TFV, SFV and VFV (c, f) in both groups (n = 4, 5 or 6 per group for a–f). g, Indirect calorimetry (metabolic cages) showing A-EE, running distance (Wheel Meters), running speed (Wheel Speed), walking distance (Ped Meters), walking speed (Ped Speed) and food intake (n = 4 per group). Two-tailed Student’s t-test; *P ≤ 0.05, **P ≤ 0.01, ^P = 0.069, or as shown.
a, Total RNA was extracted from adipocytes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-ad) that were isolated from mouse ear lobes or 3T3.L1 cells and cultured in differentiation medium (MDI, containing IBMX, dexamethasone, and insulin). Total RNA was reverse transcribed and PCR performed using overlapping primer sets (bold lines) to amplify three large cDNA fragments. Overlapping regions covered by primers for Sanger sequencing are shown by arrows. The sequence of the Fshr in MSC-ad cells was identical to mouse ovarian Fshr (GenBank ID: NM_013523.3). The 3T3.L1 cell Fshr lacked exon 2 (red box) and displayed three amino acid variations (H158Y, F190L and K243E), but was fully functional in terms of its ability to reduce cAMP levels and Ucp1 expression in response to Fsh (compare with Fig. 3b, c). b, Fsh also triggered upregulation of the lipogenic genes Fas and Lpl with a marginal increase in Pparg (**P ≤ 0.01, fold-change; qPCR, three biological replicates, in triplicate). The presence of a signalling-efficient Fshr in adipocytes is consistent with FSHR gene expression in human adipose tissue in GTex and GeneCard databases (http://www.gtexportal.org/home/gene/FSHR; http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=FSHR&keywords=fshr). We likewise find in the mouse that Fshr expression in WAT is lower than in the ovary: 1.00 ± 0.47 versus 13.8 ± 1.31 (fold-change, qPCR, P ≤ 0.01, n = 3 or 4 mice per group, measurements in triplicate). Two-tailed Student’s t-test, mean ± s.e.m.
Three-month-old female C57BL/6J mice pair-fed on high-fat diet were injected daily for 8 weeks with Fsh antibody or goat IgG (200 μg per mouse per day, intraperitoneally). a, Relative expression of genes (names noted) in BAT versus WAT (normalized to housekeeping genes and iWAT). b, Consistent with adipocyte beiging was enhanced brown gene expression (qPCR) in iWAT and BAT at 1 or 3 months (normalized to housekeeping genes and to IgG). Two-tailed Student’s t-test; mean ± s.e.m.; *P ≤ 0.05 (qPCR, n = 3 or 6 biological replicates, measured in triplicate). Also see Fig. 4d.
Extended Data Figure 9 Monoclonal antibody Hf2 against a human FSHβ epitope markedly reduces body weight and WAT and induces beiging in mice fed on a high-fat diet.
The monoclonal antibody Hf2 was raised against a motif with the 13-amino-acid-long human FSHβ sequence (LVYKDPARPKIQK), which corresponds to the mouse Fshβ sequence (LVYKDPARPNTQK) against which the polyclonal antibody was raised (Extended Data Fig. 1). Hf2 specifically binds human FSHβ in an ELISA. We have also sequenced Hf2 (data available on request). a–d, Effects of ~9-week exposure to Hf2 or mouse IgG (200 μg per day per mouse, intraperitoneally), injected daily into 6-month-old male C57BL/6J mice pair-fed on high-fat diet (see Methods). a, Food intake; b, body weight; c, fat mass, FM/TM and LM/TM (quantitative NMR); d, TFV, SFV and VFV (micro-CT, coronal and transverse sections; visceral, red; subcutaneous, yellow) (n = 5 per group for a–d). e, Fluorescence and bright-field micrographs showing Ucp1 immunostaining in frozen sections of vWAT. DAPI: nuclear staining. Negative control: irrelevant IgG in place of first antibody in Hf2-treated mice. There is a marked increase in Ucp1 immunostaining with Hf2 treatment in vWAT, together with cell condensation, reminiscent of beiging. Two-tailed Student’s t-test, **P ≤ 0.01; mean ± s.e.m. For body weight changes, see Source Data. The proof-of-concept study shows that a profound anti-obesity action can result from targeting FSHβ with a monoclonal antibody, a prelude to translational efforts towards the future use of a humanized Hf2 or its equivalent in people.
About this article
Cite this article
Liu, P., Ji, Y., Yuen, T. et al. Blocking FSH induces thermogenic adipose tissue and reduces body fat. Nature 546, 107–112 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature22342
A low follicle-stimulating hormone level is a protective factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in older men aged over 80
BMC Geriatrics (2021)
Changes in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue phenotype following menopause is associated with increased visceral fat mass
Scientific Reports (2021)
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and body size and composition trajectories in midlife women: the study of women’s health across the nation 1999–2018
International Journal of Obesity (2021)
Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism (2021)
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica (2020)