Article ID: EJ19-0255
Many researchers pay attention to novel secretory factors, such as adipokines or osteokines, secreted by the tissues that were not formerly recognized as classical endocrine organs. The liver also contributes to the onset of various kinds of pathologies of type 2 diabetes and obesity by producing and releasing secretory proteins “hepatokines.” By using the information of gene expression in human livers, we rediscovered selenoprotein P (SeP) and leukocyte cell-derived chemotaxin 2 (LECT2) as hepatokines involved in the onset of glucose intolerance. SeP was previously recognized as a selenium transport protein, but we revealed that SeP causes insulin resistance in the muscle and liver. SeP also reduces VEGF signal transduction in vascular endothelial cells, contributing the impaired angiogenesis in diabetes. Importantly, SeP impairs health-promoting effects of exercise training by suppressing reactive oxygen species (ROS)/adenosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase (AMPK) pathway in the skeletal muscle through its receptor low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1). LECT2, previously-reported as a neutrophil chemotactic protein, promotes skeletal muscle insulin resistance in obesity. Further studies are necessary to develop new diagnostic or therapeutic procedures targeting hepatokines to combat type 2 diabetes or obesity.