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Bases neurobiologiques des troubles de l'humeur et de la cognition associés à l'obésité : rôle de l’inflammation

Abstract : Obesity is a metabolic and inflammatory disorder that represents a major risk factor for the development of comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes. Obese patients also often experience mood and cognitive dysfunctions that represent important risk factors for aggravation of obesity and related outcomes. Reducing the development of such alterations may therefore allow improving health and quality of life of obese subjects. In this context, this thesis aimed to decipher the neurobiological mechanisms underlying such neuropsychiatric alterations, in order to identify new targets for the development of potential preventive and/or therapeutic strategies aiming to reduce these alterations. To do so, rodent models of obesity such as the db/db mice, which display severe obesity associated with classical features of metabolic syndrome, can be particularly useful.[ ] Second, we have investigated whether a nutritional intervention with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) and antioxidants, which are well-known to display anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, improved obesity-associated neuropsychiatric alterations. In addition, we have measured the consequences of chronic administration of the prebiotic oligofructose on the behavioral alterations displayed by db/db mice since previous studies pointed to the gut microbiota as an important player in the regulation of behavior. Finally, we have investigated the potential underlying mechanisms by measuring the impact of this treatment on the metabolism and systemic inflammation, but also on neurobiological systems known to be involved in the control of food intake and behavior. We first showed that an anti-inflammatory treatment or caloric restriction reduced anxiety-like behaviors, and this was associated with a selective decrease of hippocampal TNF-α mRNA expression, suggesting that this pro-inflammatory cytokine likely contributes to induce anxiety-like behavior associated with obesity. We then nicely confirmed this assumption by showing that selectively blocking brain TNF-α by chronically administrating etanercept i.c.v. (TNF-α decoy receptor) indeed decreased anxiety-like behaviors in obese db/db mice.[ ] Secondly, we tried identifying new preventive and/or therapeutic strategies aiming to improve mood and cognitive alterations associated with obesity. Hence, we measured if an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids/antioxidants enriched diet, well-known to modulate different neurobiological mechanisms potentially involved in behavioral alterations displayed by db/db mice, improved their behavioral alterations. We showed that chronic consumption of this diet reversed hippocampus-dependent spatial memory deficits displayed by db/db mice in a water-maze task and that this effect likely involved modulation of neuronal plasticity. Thirdly, we tested whether manipulating the gut microbiota composition may constitute a preventive and/or therapeutic strategy to improve the neuropsychiatric alterations associated with obesity. Hence, we assessed for the first time the effect of microbiota manipulation with a prebiotic on the metabolic and behavioral alterations displayed by db/db mice, but also on their systemic and neurobiological correlates. We showed that improvement of metabolic alterations following prebiotic administration in db/db mice was associated with selective reduction of peripheral and central inflammation, which is however not accompanied by detectable improvement of anxiety-like behavior or spatial memory deficits. To conclude, these experiments contribute to show that inflammation, and especially TNF-α, could be an important target to develop therapeutic treatments for mood alterations associated with obesity, whereas nutritional interventions with selective nutrients of interest may rather help preventing associated metabolic and/or cognitive alterations.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - 1:32:59 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 5:04:27 PM


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Celia Fourrier. Bases neurobiologiques des troubles de l'humeur et de la cognition associés à l'obésité : rôle de l’inflammation. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Bordeaux, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016BORD0359⟩. ⟨tel-01674185⟩



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