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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology