Minireview: Inflammation and obesity pathogenesis: the hypothalamus heats up

Endocrinology. 2010 Sep;151(9):4109-15. doi: 10.1210/en.2010-0336. Epub 2010 Jun 23.


Obesity induced by high-fat (HF) feeding is associated with low-grade inflammation in peripheral tissues that predisposes to insulin resistance. Recent evidence suggests the occurrence of a similar process in the hypothalamus, which favors weight gain through impairment of leptin and insulin signaling. In addition to its implications for obesity pathogenesis, this hypothesis suggests that centrally targeted antiinflammatory therapies may prove effective in prevention and treatment of this disorder. This article highlights molecular and cellular mechanisms by which hypothalamic inflammation predisposes to diet-induced obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Glucose Intolerance / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / physiopathology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Weight Gain / physiology


  • Leptin