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Sex-specific effects of central adiposity and inflammatory markers on limbic microstructure

Metzler-Baddeley, Claudia, Mole, Jilu P., Leonaviciute, Erika, Sims, Rebecca, Kidd, Emma J., Ertefai, Benyamin, Kelso-Mitchell, Aurora, Gidney, Florence, Fasano, Fabrizio, Evans, John, Jones, Derek K. and Baddeley, Roland J. 2019. Sex-specific effects of central adiposity and inflammatory markers on limbic microstructure. NeuroImage 189 , pp. 793-803. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.007

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Abstract

Midlife obesity is a risk factor of late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) but why this is the case remains unknown. As systemic inflammation is involved in both conditions, obesity-related neuroinflammation may contribute to damage in limbic structures important in LOAD. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that systemic inflammation would mediate central obesity related effects on limbic tissue microstructure in 166 asymptomatic individuals (38–71 years old). We employed MRI indices sensitive to myelin and neuroinflammation [macromolecular proton fraction (MPF) and kf] from quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) together with indices from neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) to investigate the effects of central adiposity on the fornix, parahippocampal cingulum, uncinate fasciculus (compared with whole brain white matter and corticospinal tract) and the hippocampus. Central obesity was assessed with the Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) and abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat area fractions (VFF, SFF), and systemic inflammation with blood plasma concentrations of leptin, adiponectin, C-reactive protein and interleukin 8. Men were significantly more centrally obese and had higher VFF than women. Individual differences in WHR and in VFF were negatively correlated with differences in fornix MPF and kf, but not with any differences in neurite microstructure. In women, age mediated the effects of VFF on fornix MPF and kf, whilst in men differences in the leptin and adiponectin ratio fully mediated the effect of WHR on fornix MPF. These results suggest that visceral fat related systemic inflammation may damage myelin-related properties of the fornix, a key limbic structure known to be involved in LOAD.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Medicine
Pharmacy
Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 4 February 2019
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2019 08:38
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/119477

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