Characteristics of free fatty acid metabolism in pathogenesis of obesity: current view

AbstractObesity is a chronic disease that turns up one of the main healthcare problems in the majority of industrialized countries. In modern literature, free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism disturbances are thought to play one of the key roles in the pathogenesis of obesity. This review accumulates and summarizes basic facts on FFA normal metabolism and currently known concepts explaining the relation between FFA metabolism disturbances and pathogenesis of obesity and associated complications. Ectopic fat recruitment (i.e., in non-adipose tissues) appears to be a key feature of metabolic disturbances in obesity. It was the finding, that has led to the believe that an imbalance in fatty acid trafficking away from adipose tissue towards non-adipose tissues is a primary cause for the development of metabolic alterations in obese subjects. Recently FFA trafficking within non-adipose tissues cells (particularly towards storage in the form of triglycerides and oxidation) has considerably more important significance in the pathogenesis of obesity. After that FFA has established to be important signaling molecules, interacting with specific receptors (that are localized in different tissues) and by this way influence on body metabolism. Failure of these influences also appears to be important factor of obesity pathogenesis. Thus, FFA metabolism play an important role in obesity pathogenesis. This influence is caused by both FFA trafficking and oxidation disturbances in adipose and non-adipose tissues and direct interaction of FFA with specific receptors in different tissues.

Keywords:obesity, pathogenesis, free fatty acid, metabolism, trafficking, free fatty acid receptors

Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2018; 87 (1): 18-27. doi: 10.24411/0042-8833-2018-10002.

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