Maintenance of systemic homeostasis and the response to nutritional and environmental challenges require the coordination of multiple organs and tissues. To respond to various metabolic demands, higher organisms have developed a system of inter-organ communication through which one tissue can affect metabolic pathways in a distant tissue. Dysregulation of these lines of communication contributes to human pathologies, including obesity, diabetes, liver disease and atherosclerosis. In recent years, technical advances such as data-driven bioinformatics, proteomics and lipidomics have enabled efforts to understand the complexity of systemic metabolic cross-talk and its underlying mechanisms. Here, we provide an overview of inter-organ signals and their roles in metabolic control, and highlight recent discoveries in the field. We review peptide, small-molecule and lipid mediators secreted by metabolic tissues, as well as the role of the central nervous system in orchestrating peripheral metabolic functions. Finally, we discuss the contributions of inter-organ signalling networks to the features of metabolic syndrome.
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Priest, C., Tontonoz, P. Inter-organ cross-talk in metabolic syndrome. Nat Metab 1, 1177–1188 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-019-0145-5
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