Liver-derived metabolic hormone fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) improves insulin sensitivity and extends lifespan in mice. Aging also compromises the adaptive immune system by reducing T-cell production from the thymus. In this paper, we describe a new immunological function of FGF21 as a regulator of T-cell production from thymus in aging. The overexpression of FGF21 prevents thymic lipoatrophy, which protects the mice from age-induced loss of naïve T cells. FGF21 expression in thymic epithelial cells and signaling in thymic stromal cells support thymic function in aging. Loss of FGF21 in mice increases lethality postirradiation and delays the reconstitution of thymus. Hence, we highlight FGF21 as an immunometabolic regulator that can be harnessed to delay immune senescence.
Irisin and FGF21 Are Cold-Induced Endocrine Activators of Brown Fat Function in Humans