CCN5/WISP2 and metabolic diseases
Review article, 2018

Obesity and type 2 diabetes increase worldwide at an epidemic rate. It is expected that by the year 2030 around 500 million people will have diabetes; predominantly type 2 diabetes. The CCN family of proteins has become of interest in both metabolic and other common human diseases because of their effects on mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) proliferation and differentiation as well as being important regulators of fibrosis. We here review current knowledge of the WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 2 (CCN5/WISP2). It has been shown to be an important regulator of both these processes through effects on both the canonical WNT and the TGFβ pathways. It is also under normal regulation by the adipogenic commitment factor BMP4, in contrast to conventional canonical WNT ligands, and allows MSCs to undergo normal adipose cell differentiation. CCN5/WISP2 is highly expressed in, and secreted by, MSCs and is an important regulator of MSCs growth. In a transgenic mouse model overexpressing CCN5/WISP2 in the adipose tissue, we have shown that it is secreted and circulating in the blood, the mice develop hypercellular white and brown adipose tissue, have increased lean body mass and enlarged hypercellular hearts. Obese transgenic mice had improved insulin sensitivity. Interestingly, the anti-fibrotic effect of CCN5/WISP2 is protective against heart failure by inhibition of the TGFβ pathway. Understanding how CCN5/WISP2 is regulated and signals is important and may be useful for developing new treatment strategies in obesity and metabolic diseases and it can also be a target in regenerative medicine.




Adipose tissue

Mesenchymal stem cells

Insulin resistance


John R Grünberg

University of Cambridge

Johannes Elvin

University of Gothenburg

Alexandra Paul

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Shahram Hedjazifar

University of Gothenburg

Ann Hammarstedt

University of Gothenburg

Ulf Smith

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling

1873-9601 (ISSN) 1873-961X (eISSN)

Vol. 12 1 309-318

Subject Categories

Cell Biology

Areas of Advance

Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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