How Fatty Acids and Common Genetic Variants Together Affect the Inflammation of Adipose Tissue

  • Kenna Slim
  • Anne Marie MinihaneEmail author
Lipids (Jose Ordovas, Laurence Parnell; Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lipids


Adipose tissue (AT) expansion is associated with the recruitment of additional macrophages and a proinflammatory adipokine profile. The inflammatory status of AT is an important determinant of the metabolic and pathologic consequences of obesity and the risk of comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It has more recently also been linked to dementia and accelerated brain ageing. Given that fatty acids regulate cellular inflammation through their impact on the eicosanoid profile and on adipokine expression, it is likely that habitual fatty acid intake and AT fatty acid status, is important in regulating AT inflammation. Furthermore, although as yet poorly researched and understood, common variants in inflammatory genes and in their receptors and regulators may influence their production and overall AT function. In an era where population weight reduction strategies have had limited success, an understanding of AT inflammation and its regulation by dietary strategies aimed at resulting in a ‘metabolically healthy obese phenotype,’ is of wide public health relevance.


Obesity BMI Waist Hypertrophy Genotype GWAS Insulin sensitivity Inflammation Macrophages Cytokines Adipokines Adiponectin TNFα IL-6 Apolipoprotein E n-3 PUFA Saturated fatty acids 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Anne Marie Minihane serves as an Academic Advisor to Obesity and Diabetes Task Force for ILSI Europe and receives research funding from Abbott Nutrition. Kenna Slim declares that she has no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Norwich Medical SchoolUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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