Obesity is considered an epidemic disorder, due to an imbalance between energy consumption and metabolizable energy intake. This balance is increasingly disrupted during normal aging processes due to the progressive impairment of mechanisms that normally control energy homeostasis. Obesity is triggered by an excessive lipid depots but reflects systemic inflammation along with large adipocytes secreting proinflammatory adipokines, an increase of the free fatty acids levels in the bloodstream, and ectopic lipid accumulation. Hepatic fat accumulation is the most common cause of chronic liver disease, characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction with a consequent impaired fat metabolism and increased oxidative stress. Therefore, mitochondrial dysfunction is associated to hepatic lipid accumulation and related complications. In this study, we assessed the crosstalk between adipose tissue and liver, analyzing the time-course of changes in hepatic mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation capacity versus fatty acid storage, focusing on the contribution of adipose tissue inflammation to hepatic lipid accumulation, using a rodent model of high fat diet-induced obesity. Our results demonstrate that both high-fat diet-induced obesity and aging induce dysregulation of adipose tissue function and similar metabolic alterations mediated by mitochondrial function impairment and altered inflammatory profile. The high fat diet-induced obesity anticipates and exacerbates liver mitochondrial dysfunction that occurs with aging processes.
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