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N1-methylnicotinamide is a signalling molecule produced in skeletal muscle coordinating energy metabolism

  • Kristoffer Ström
  • David Morales-Alamo
  • Filip Ottosson
  • Anna Edlund
  • Line Hjort
  • Sine W. Jörgensen
  • Peter Almgren
  • Yuedan Zhou
  • Marcos Martin-Rincon
  • Carl Ekman
  • Alberto Pérez-López
  • Ola Ekström
  • Ismael Perez-Suarez
  • Markus Mattiasson
  • Pedro De Pablos-Velasco
  • Nikolay Oskolkov
  • Emma Ahlqvist
  • Nils Wierup
  • Lena Eliasson
  • Allan Vaag
  • Leif Groop
  • Karin G. Stenkula
  • Céline Fernandez
  • Jose A.L. Calbet
  • Hans Christer Holmberg
  • Ola Hansson
Publishing year: 2018-12-01
Language: English
Publication/Series: Scientific Reports
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

Obesity is a major health problem, and although caloric restriction and exercise are successful strategies to lose adipose tissue in obese individuals, a simultaneous decrease in skeletal muscle mass, negatively effects metabolism and muscle function. To deeper understand molecular events occurring in muscle during weight-loss, we measured the expressional change in human skeletal muscle following a combination of severe caloric restriction and exercise over 4 days in 15 Swedish men. Key metabolic genes were regulated after the intervention, indicating a shift from carbohydrate to fat metabolism. Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) was the most consistently upregulated gene following the energy-deficit exercise. Circulating levels of N1-methylnicotinamide (MNA), the product of NNMT activity, were doubled after the intervention. The fasting-fed state was an important determinant of plasma MNA levels, peaking at ~18 h of fasting and being lowest ~3 h after a meal. In culture, MNA was secreted by isolated human myotubes and stimulated lipolysis directly, with no effect on glucagon or insulin secretion. We propose that MNA is a novel myokine that enhances the utilization of energy stores in response to low muscle energy availability. Future research should focus on applying MNA as a biomarker to identify individuals with metabolic disturbances at an early stage.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Diabetes - Islet Cell Exocytosis
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • Neuroendocrine Cell Biology
  • Glucose Transport and Protein Trafficking
  • ISSN: 2045-2322

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