Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Obesity I: Overview and molecular and biochemical mechanisms.

Authors: Lustig, Robert H; Collier, David; Kassotis, Christopher; Roepke, Troy A; Kim, Min Ji; Blanc, Etienne; Barouki, Robert; Bansal, Amita; Cave, Matthew C; Chatterjee, Saurabh; Choudhury, Mahua; Gilbertson, Michael; Lagadic-Gossmann, Dominique; Howard, Sarah; Lind, Lars; Tomlinson, Craig R; Vondracek, Jan; Heindel, Jerrold J

Published In Biochem Pharmacol, (2022 05)

Abstract: Obesity is a chronic, relapsing condition characterized by excess body fat. Its prevalence has increased globally since the 1970s, and the number of obese and overweight people is now greater than those underweight. Obesity is a multifactorial condition, and as such, many components contribute to its development and pathogenesis. This is the first of three companion reviews that consider obesity. This review focuses on the genetics, viruses, insulin resistance, inflammation, gut microbiome, and circadian rhythms that promote obesity, along with hormones, growth factors, and organs and tissues that control its development. It shows that the regulation of energy balance (intake vs. expenditure) relies on the interplay of a variety of hormones from adipose tissue, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver, and brain. It details how integrating central neurotransmitters and peripheral metabolic signals (e.g., leptin, insulin, ghrelin, peptide YY3-36) is essential for controlling energy homeostasis and feeding behavior. It describes the distinct types of adipocytes and how fat cell development is controlled by hormones and growth factors acting via a variety of receptors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, retinoid X, insulin, estrogen, androgen, glucocorticoid, thyroid hormone, liver X, constitutive androstane, pregnane X, farnesoid, and aryl hydrocarbon receptors. Finally, it demonstrates that obesity likely has origins in utero. Understanding these biochemical drivers of adiposity and metabolic dysfunction throughout the life cycle lends plausibility and credence to the "obesogen hypothesis" (i.e., the importance of environmental chemicals that disrupt these receptors to promote adiposity or alter metabolism), elucidated more fully in the two companion reviews.

PubMed ID: 35393120 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adipocytes/metabolism; Adipose Tissue/metabolism; Energy Metabolism/physiology; Humans; Insulin/metabolism; Leptin*/metabolism; Obesity*/metabolism

to Top