Hypothalamic inflammation is a common feature of experimental obesity. Dietary fats are important triggers of this process inducing the activation of toll-like receptor-4 signaling and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Microglia cells, which are the cellular components of the innate immune system in the brain, are expected to play a role in the early activation of diet-induced hypothalamic inflammation. Here, we use bone marrow transplants to generate mice chimeras that express a functional TLR4 in the entire body except in bone marrow-derived cells or only in bone marrow-derived cells. We show that a functional TLR4 in bone marrow-derived cells is required for the complete expression of the diet-induced obese phenotype and for the perpetuation of inflammation in the hypothalamus. In an obesity-prone mouse strain, the chemokine CX3CL1 (fractalkine) is rapidly induced in the neurons of the hypothalamus following the introduction of a high-fat diet. The inhibition of hypothalamic fractalkine reduces diet-induced hypothalamic inflammation and the recruitment of bone marrow-derived monocytic cells to the hypothalamus; in addition, this inhibition reduces obesity and protects against diet-induced glucose intolerance. Thus, fractalkine is an important player in the early induction of diet-induced hypothalamic inflammation, and its inhibition impairs the induction of the obese and glucose-intolerance phenotypes.
- Received September 29, 2013.
- Accepted May 28, 2014.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
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