High fat induces acute and chronic inflammation in the hypothalamus: effect of high-fat diet, palmitate and TNF-α on appetite-regulating NPY neurons.Int J Obes (Lond). 2017 01; 41(1):149-158.IJ
Consumption of dietary fat is one of the key factors leading to obesity. High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is characterized by induction of inflammation in the hypothalamus; however, the temporal regulation of proinflammatory markers and their impact on hypothalamic appetite-regulating neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons remains undefined.
Mice were injected with an acute lipid infusion for 24 h or fed a HFD over 8-20 weeks. Characterized mouse NPY/AgRP hypothalamic cell lines were used for in vitro experimentation. Immunohistochemistry in brain slices or quantitative real-time PCR in cell lines, was performed to determine changes in the expression of key inflammatory markers and neuropeptides.
Hypothalamic inflammation, indicated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α expression and astrocytosis in the arcuate nucleus, was evident following acute lipid infusion. HFD for 8 weeks suppressed TNF-α, while significantly increasing heat-shock protein 70 and ciliary neurotrophic factor, both neuroprotective components. HFD for 20 weeks induced TNF-α expression in NPY/AgRP neurons, suggesting a detrimental temporal regulatory mechanism. Using NPY/AgRP hypothalamic cell lines, we found that palmitate provoked a mixed inflammatory response on a panel of inflammatory and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress genes, whereas TNF-α significantly upregulated IκBα, nuclear factor (NF)-κB and interleukin-6 mRNA levels. Palmitate and TNF-α exposure predominantly induced NPY mRNA levels. Utilizing an I kappa B kinase β (IKKβ) inhibitor, we demonstrated that these effects potentially occur via the inflammatory IKKβ/NF-κB pathway.
These findings indicate that acute lipid and chronic HFD feeding in vivo, as well as acute palmitate and TNF-α exposure in vitro, induce markers of inflammation or ER stress in the hypothalamic appetite-stimulating NPY/AgRP neurons over time, which may contribute to a dramatic alteration in NPY/AgRP content or expression. Acute and chronic HFD feeding in vivo temporally regulates arcuate TNF-α expression with reactive astrocytosis, which suggests a time-dependent neurotrophic or neurotoxic role of lipids.