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Novel Molecular Insights into Obesity-Related Metabolic Disorders

Call for Papers

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, being one of the biggest health problems of the 21st century. The reasons for the increasing prevalence of obesity are a combination of genetic predisposition and social and environmental factors, leading to positive energy balance. Both are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, high lipid levels, or cardiovascular diseases. The implication of these associations is that controlling obesity should have a beneficial knock-on effect on all these alarming complications.

At a molecular level, obesity is manifested as a chronic but relatively low-grade inflammatory state in peripheral tissues. Recent findings suggest the involvement of immune cells such as macrophages, lymphocytes, and neutrophils in the development of this inflammatory state, linked with the increase of fat pads and changes in adipokines and pro-/anti-inflammatory factor secretion. In addition, during the inflammatory state, the process of lipotoxicity can occur, leading to an accumulation of lipids in nonadipose tissue, which can impair cellular function. Questions are still open regarding the novel link of the immune system and metabolic inflammation controlling the obese state.

Additionally, the nervous system plays a key role in metabolic regulation and energy homeostasis. It is understood that alterations of the autonomic nervous system may be involved in the pathogenesis of obesity, contributing to weight gain, hyperphagia, or cardiovascular complications. In this context, essential tissues for maintenance of energy balance, such as adipose tissues, require an efficient neural communication with the brain to keep this balance. New knowledge about central and peripheral nervous signal integration could provide potential benefits in the treatment of this condition.

The aim of this special issue is to provide new and existing insights into the molecular mechanisms controlling obesity. Specifically, this special issue will focus on the role of tissue-resident immune cells mediating energy balance and how different organs respond to the inflammation and lipotoxicity generated as a consequence of obesity. New approaches in brain communication with different metabolic tissues and new information about nerve distribution and its regulation into adipose tissues could lead to new points of view. Original research papers on innovative contributions in the molecular mechanisms underlining obesity are especially welcome. Review articles which describe the current state of the art about immunometabolism and neurometabolism linked to obesity are also appreciated.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Innervation patterns across the different adipose depots
  • Neuronal networks alterations in the pathogenesis of obesity
  • Mechanisms of neural regulation in the metabolic tissues
  • New insights in peripheral and central lipotoxicity
  • Immunometabolism: immune cell crosstalk in obesity
  • Immune cell types linking to white and brown adipose tissue metabolism
  • Perspectives in drug therapy: therapeutic management of obesity

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 20 September 2019
Publication DateFebruary 2020

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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