Obesity contributes to cognitive deficits by activating microglial cells, mice study shows

Obesity leads to cognitive impairment by activating microglial cells, which consume otherwise functional synapses in the hippocampus, according to a study of male mice published in JNeurosci. The research suggests that microglia may be a potential therapeutic target for one of the lesser known effects of this global health epidemic on the brain.

Nearly two billion adults worldwide are overweight, more than 600 million of whom are obese. In addition to increasing risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, obesity is also a known risk factor for cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. The cellular mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline in obesity, however, are not well understood.

Elise Cope and colleagues replicated previous research by demonstrating diet-induced obesity in mice impairs performance on cognitive tasks dependent on the hippocampus and results in loss of dendritic spines — the neuronal protrusions that receive signals from other cells — and activates microglia.

Using genetic and pharmacological approaches to block microglial activity, the researchers established microglia are causally linked to obesity-induced dendritic spine loss and cognitive decline. The results suggest obesity may drive microglia into a synapse-eating frenzy that contributes to the cognitive deficits observed in this condition.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Society for Neuroscience. (2019, June 24). Obesity contributes to cognitive deficits by activating microglial cells, mice study shows. News-Medical. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180911/Obesity-contributes-to-cognitive-deficits-by-activating-microglial-cells-mice-study-shows.aspx.

  • MLA

    Society for Neuroscience. "Obesity contributes to cognitive deficits by activating microglial cells, mice study shows". News-Medical. 19 August 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180911/Obesity-contributes-to-cognitive-deficits-by-activating-microglial-cells-mice-study-shows.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Society for Neuroscience. "Obesity contributes to cognitive deficits by activating microglial cells, mice study shows". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180911/Obesity-contributes-to-cognitive-deficits-by-activating-microglial-cells-mice-study-shows.aspx. (accessed August 19, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Society for Neuroscience. 2019. Obesity contributes to cognitive deficits by activating microglial cells, mice study shows. News-Medical, viewed 19 August 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180911/Obesity-contributes-to-cognitive-deficits-by-activating-microglial-cells-mice-study-shows.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
Retina can restructure itself following gene therapy