The timeline of neuronal and glial alterations in experimental obesity

Neuropharmacology. 2022 May 1:208:108983. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2022.108983. Epub 2022 Feb 8.


In experimental models, hypothalamic dysfunction is a key component of the pathophysiology of diet-induced obesity. Early after the introduction of a high-fat diet, neurons, microglia, astrocytes and tanycytes of the mediobasal hypothalamus undergo structural and functional changes that impact caloric intake, energy expenditure and systemic glucose tolerance. Inflammation has emerged as a central component of this response, and as in other inflammatory conditions, there is a time course of events that determine the fate of distinct cells involved in the central regulation of whole-body energy homeostasis. Here, we review the work that identified key mechanisms, cellular players and temporal features of diet-induced hypothalamic abnormalities. This article is part of the special Issue on 'Cross Talk between Periphery and the Brain'.

Keywords: Astrocyte; Inflammation; Microglia; Proopiomelanocortin; Tanycyte.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus*
  • Neuroglia
  • Neurons
  • Obesity*