Genes & Nutrition

, Volume 1, Issue 3–4, pp 189–212

Genes involved in obesity: Adipocytes, brain and microflora

  • L. Macia
  • O. Viltart
  • C. Verwaerde
  • M. Delacre
  • A. Delanoye
  • C. Grangette
  • I. Wolowczuk


The incidence of obesity and related metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, are reaching worldwide epidemic proportions. It results from an imbalance between caloric intake and energy expenditure leading to excess energy storage, mostly due to genetic and environmental factors such as diet, food components and/or way of life. It is known since long that this balance is maintained to equilibrium by multiple mechanisms allowing the brain to sense the nutritional status of the body and adapt behavioral and metabolic responses to changes in fuel availability. In this review, we summarize selected aspects of the regulation of energy homeostasis, prevalently highlighting the complex relationships existing between the white adipose tissue, the central nervous system, the endogenous microbiota, and nutrition. We first describe how both the formation and functionality of adipose cells are strongly modulated by the diet before summarizing where and how the central nervous system integrates peripheral signals from the adipose tissue and/or the gastro-intestinal tract. Finally, after a short description of the intestinal commensal flora, rangingfrom its composition to its importance in immune surveillance, we enlarge the discussion on how nutrition modified this perfectly well-balanced ecosystem.

Key words

Adipogenesis Adipose Tissue Macrophage Metabolic Syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Springer Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Macia
    • 1
  • O. Viltart
    • 2
  • C. Verwaerde
    • 1
  • M. Delacre
    • 1
  • A. Delanoye
    • 1
  • C. Grangette
    • 3
  • I. Wolowczuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Neuro-Immuno-EndocrinologieInstitut Pasteur de Lille /1 FR 142Lille cedexFrance
  2. 2.Unité de Neurosciences et de Physiologie Adaptatives SN4Université de Lille IVilleneuve d’AscqFrance
  3. 3.Bactéries Lactiques et Immunité des MuqueusesInstitut Pasteur de Lille / Institut de Biologie de LilleLille cedexFrance

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