The role of GPR109a signaling in niacin induced effects on fed and fasted hepatic metabolism

Caroline E. Geisler, Kendra E. Miller, Susma Ghimire, Benjamin J. Renquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Signaling through GPR109a, the putative receptor for the endogenous ligand β-OH butyrate, inhibits adipose tissue lipolysis. Niacin, an anti-atherosclerotic drug that can induce insulin resistance, activates GPR109a at nM concentrations. GPR109a is not essential for niacin to improve serum lipid profiles. To better understand the involvement of GPR109a signaling in regulating glucose and lipid metabolism, we treated GPR109a wild-type (+/+) and knockout (−/−) mice with repeated overnight injections of saline or niacin in physiological states characterized by low (ad libitum fed) or high (16 h fasted) concentrations of the endogenous ligand, β-OH butyrate. In the fed state, niacin increased expression of apolipoprotein-A1 mRNA and decreased sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 mRNA independent of genotype, suggesting a possible GPR109a independent mechanism by which niacin increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) production and limits transcriptional upregulation of lipogenic genes. Niacin decreased fasting serum non-esterified fatty acid concentrations in both GPR109a +/+ and −/− mice. Independent of GPR109a expression, niacin blunted fast-induced hepatic triglyceride accumulation and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α mRNA expression. Although unaffected by niacin treatment, fasting serum HDL concentrations were lower in GPR109a knockout mice. Surprisingly, GPR109a knockout did not affect glucose or lipid homeostasis or hepatic gene expression in either fed or fasted mice. In turn, GPR109a does not appear to be essential for the metabolic response to the fasting ketogenic state or the acute effects of niacin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4001
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2 2021


  • GPR109a
  • Liver
  • Metabolic homeostasis
  • Niacin
  • β-OH butyrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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