Endocrine fibroblast growth factors 15/19 and 21: From feast to famine

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360 Scopus citations


We review the physiology and pharmacology of two atypical fibroblast growth factors (FGFs)-FGF15/19 and FGF21-that can function as hormones. Both FGF15/19 and FGF21 act on multiple tissues to coordinate carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in response to nutritional status. Whereas FGF15/19 is secreted from the small intestine in response to feeding and has insulin-like actions, FGF21 is secreted from the liver in response to extended fasting and has glucagon-like effects. FGF21 also acts in an autocrine fashion in several tissues, including adipose. The pharmacological actions of FGF15/19 and FGF21 make them attractive drug candidates for treating metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-324
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2012


  • Bile acids
  • Diabetes
  • FGF15
  • FGF19
  • FGF21
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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