Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 615–635 | Cite as

The possible factors affecting microglial activation in cases of obesity with cognitive dysfunction

  • Titikorn Chunchai
  • Nipon Chattipakorn
  • Siriporn C. Chattipakorn
Review Article


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in many countries around the world. Several studies have reported that obesity can lead to the development of cognitive decline. There is increasing evidence to demonstrate that microglia play a crucial role in cognitive decline in cases of obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and also in the aging process. Although there have been several studies into microglia over the past decades, the mechanistic link between microglia and cognitive decline in obese models is still not fully understood. In this review, the current available evidence from both in vitro and in vivo investigations regarding the association between the alteration in microglial activity in different obese models with respect to cognition are included. The metabolite profiles from obesity, adiposity, dietary and hormone affected microglial activation and its function in the brain are comprehensively summarized. In addition, the possible roles of microglial activation in relation to cognitive dysfunction are also presented and discussed. To ensure a balanced perspective controversial reports regarding these issues are included and discussed.


Microglia Obesity Cognitive function 



The authors thank Ms. Maria Love for her editorial assistance of this manuscript.

This work was supported by the Thailand Research Fund (RTA 6080003: SCC); the Royal Golden Jubilee PhD program (PHD/0146/2558 TC&SC); a NSTDA Research Chair Grant from the National Science and Technology Development Agency Thailand (NC) and a Chiang Mai University Center of Excellence Award (NC).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Titikorn Chunchai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nipon Chattipakorn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Siriporn C. Chattipakorn
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Neurophysiology Unit, Cardiac Electrophysiology Research and Training Center, Faculty of MedicineChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  2. 2.Cardiac Electrophysiology Research and Training Center, Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  3. 3.Department of Oral Biology and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of DentistryChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand

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