European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 27–43 | Cite as

Adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic syndrome. The proactive role of probiotics

  • Sebastian Torres
  • Emanuel Fabersani
  • Antonela Marquez
  • Paola Gauffin-CanoEmail author



The first part of this review focuses on the role of cells and molecules of adipose tissue involved in metabolic syndrome-induced inflammation and in the maintenance of this pathology. In the second part of the review, the potential role of probiotics-modulating metabolic syndrome-related inflammatory components is summarized and discussed.


The search for the current scientific literature was carried out using ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Google Scholar search engines. The keywords used were: metabolic syndrome, obesity, insulin resistant, adipose tissue, adipose tissue inflammation, chronic low-grade inflammation, immune cells, adipokines, cytokines, probiotics, and gut microbiota.

Results and Conclusions

Chronic low-grade inflammation that characterized metabolic syndrome can contribute to the development of the metabolic dysfunctions involved in the pathogenesis of its comorbidities. Adipose tissue is a complex organ that performs metabolic and immune functions. During metabolic syndrome, an imbalance in the inflammatory components of adipose tissue (immune cells, cytokines, and adipocytokines), which shift from an anti-inflammatory to a pro-inflammatory profile, can provoke metabolic syndrome linked complications. Further knowledge concerning the immune function of adipose tissue may contribute to finding better alternatives for the treatment or prevention of such disorders. The control of inflammation could result in the management of many of the pathologies related to metabolic syndrome. Due to the strong evidence that gut microbiota composition plays a role modulating the body weight, adipose tissue, and the prevalence of a low-grade inflammatory status, probiotics emerge as valuable tools for the prevention of metabolic syndrome and health recovery.


Metabolic syndrome Obesity Chronic low-grade inflammation Adipose tissue Adipokines Probiotics 



Acylation stimulating protein


Body mass index


Complement component 3


C–C motif chemokine ligand-4


Central nervous system


C-reactive protein


C1qTNF-related proteins


High-density lipoprotein




Intercellular adhesion molecule 1




Insulin receptor substrate-1


Krüppel-like factor proteins


Low-density lipoprotein




Macrophage inflammatory protein 1


Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor


Nuclear factor Kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells


Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1


Pre-B-cell enhancing factor


Regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted


Tumor growth factor


Toll-like receptor


Tumor necrosis factor


Vascular cell adhesion molecule 1



The present review was supported by the grant PIP215 from CONICET.

Author contributions

All authors contributed to the discussion sessions, held to outline and delimit the content of the manuscript. TS, FE, MA and G-CP performed the literature search and contributed to the writing of the manuscript. All authors contributed to the discussion and interpretation of the literature data and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Bioprospección y Fisiología Vegetal (INBIOFIV), CONICETTucumánArgentina
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e IMLUniversidad Nacional de TucumánTucumánArgentina
  3. 3.Facultad de Agronomía y ZootecniaUniversidad Nacional de TucumánTucumánArgentina
  4. 4.Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA), CONICETTucumánArgentina

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