Hypothalamic lipid-laden astrocytes induce microglia migration and activation

Yoon Hee Kwon, Jiye Kim, Chu Sook Kim, Thai Hien Tu, Min Seon Kim, Kyoungho Suk, Dong Hee Kim, Byung Ju Lee, Hye Seon Choi, Taesun Park, Myung Sook Choi, Tsuyoshi Goto, Teruo Kawada, Tae Youl Ha, Rina Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation is closely associated with various metabolic complications and neurodegenerative disorders. Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the central nervous system, play a crucial role in pathological hypothalamic inflammatory processes. Here, we demonstrate that hypothalamic astrocytes accumulate lipid droplets under saturated fatty acid-rich conditions, such as obese environment, and that the lipid-laden astrocytes increase astrogliosis markers and inflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1) at the transcript and/or protein level. Medium conditioned by the lipid-laden astrocytes stimulate microglial chemotactic activity and upregulate transcripts of the microglia activation marker Iba-1 and inflammatory cytokines. These findings indicate that the lipid-laden astrocytes formed in free fatty acid-rich obese condition may participate in obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation through promoting microglia migration and activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1742-1751
Number of pages10
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the SRC program (Center for Food & Nutritional Genomics Research: Grant no. 2015R1A5A6001906) of the NRF of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and by a grant from the Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI E0160500-02).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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