Disruption of neurogenesis by hypothalamic inflammation in obesity or aging

Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2013 Dec;14(4):351-6. doi: 10.1007/s11154-013-9279-z.


Adult neural stem cells contribute to neurogenesis and plasticity of the brain which is essential for central regulation of systemic homeostasis. Damage to these homeostatic components, depending on locations in the brain, poses threat to impaired neurogenesis, neurodegeneration, cognitive loss and energy imbalance. Recent research has identified brain metabolic inflammation via proinflammatory IκB kinase-β (IKKβ) and its downstream nuclear transcription factor NF-κB pathway as a non-classical linker of metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. Chronic activation of the pathway results in impairment of energy balance and nutrient metabolism, impediment of neurogenesis, neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation, collectively converging on metabolic and cognitive decline. Hypothalamic IKKβ/NF-κB via inflammatory crosstalk between microglia and neurons has been discovered to direct systemic aging by inhibiting the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and inhibition of inflammation or GnRH therapy could revert aging related degenerative symptoms at least in part. This article reviews the crucial role of hypothalamic inflammation in affecting neural stem cells which mediates the neurodegenerative mechanisms of causing metabolic derangements as well as aging-associated disorders or diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / complications
  • Hypothalamic Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / physiopathology*