Role of exercise-induced hepatokines in metabolic disorders

Gaël Ennequin, Pascal Sirvent, Martin Whitham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)


The health-promoting effects of physical activity to prevent and treat metabolic disorders are numerous. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not yet completely deciphered. In recent years, studies have referred to the liver as an endocrine organ, since it releases specific proteins called hepatokines. Some of these hepatokines are involved in whole body metabolic homeostasis and are theorized to participate in the development of metabolic disease. In this regard, the present review describes the role of Fibroblast Growth Factor 21, Fetuin-A, Angiopoietin-like protein 4, and Follistatin in metabolic disease and their production in response to acute exercise. Also, we discuss the potential role of hepatokines in mediating the beneficial effects of regular exercise and the future challenges to the discovery of new exercise-induced hepatokines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E11-E24
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • exercise
  • hepatokines
  • liver
  • metabolic diseases


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