Chronic Inflammation in Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome
Overview of the complex interplay between obesity-inflammation-metabolic syndrome: metabolic overload impacts on adipose tissue, leading to organelle stress with production of ROS and adipokines, as well as activation of kinases that potentiate the transcription of inflammatory genes and interfere with insulin signaling. Hyperthrophy facilitates rupture of adipocytes which attract and activate macrophages that markedly reinforce the inflammatory process through further production of ROS and inflammatory cytokines. Production of adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, is reduced. Increase of FFA concentration, namely, SFA, coming both from feeding and adipose tissue overflow, accumulates in the liver, among other organs. Fat accumulation in the liver leads to overproduction of LDLs and, together with IL-6, of CRP. NAFLD is a frequent consequence of these metabolic dysregulations, and all this impacts on insulin sensitivity. SFA activates TOLL-like receptors in adipocytes, contributing to the activation of the inflammatory response. Fat has also effects on intestinal permeability and on the microbiota, with systemic inflammatory consequences. Most excess metabolites and cytokines produced throughout these processes converge on insulin resistance, a central characteristic of the metabolic syndrome. AP-1: activator protein-1; CRP: C-reactive protein; FFA: free (nonesterified) fatty acids; IL-n: interleukins; IKK: inhibitor of NF-B kinase; IL-6: interleukin-6; Int: intestine; IR: insulin resistance; JNK: c-Jun N-terminal kinase; LDL: low density lipoprotein; M: microbiota; NAFLD: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; NF-B: nuclear factor B; OxS: oxidative stress; ROS: reactive oxygen species; PKC: protein kinase C; SFA: saturated fatty acids; TAG: triacylglycerols; TLR: TOLL-like receptors; TNFalpha: tumour necrosis factor alpha.