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The hypothalamus for whole-body physiology: from metabolism to aging
Protein & Cell  (IF14.87),  Pub Date : 2021-04-07, DOI: 10.1007/s13238-021-00834-x
Tiemin Liu, Yong Xu, Chun-Xia Yi, Qingchun Tong, Dongsheng Cai

Obesity and aging are two important epidemic factors for metabolic syndrome and many other health issues, which contribute to devastating diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancers. The brain plays a central role in controlling metabolic physiology in that it integrates information from other metabolic organs, sends regulatory projections and orchestrates the whole-body function. Emerging studies suggest that brain dysfunction in sensing various internal cues or processing external cues may have profound effects on metabolic and other physiological functions. This review highlights brain dysfunction linked to genetic mutations, sex, brain inflammation, microbiota, stress as causes for whole-body pathophysiology, arguing brain dysfunction as a root cause for the epidemic of aging and obesity-related disorders. We also speculate key issues that need to be addressed on how to reveal relevant brain dysfunction that underlines the development of these disorders and diseases in order to develop new treatment strategies against these health problems.