The Dual Role of Free Fatty Acid Signaling in Inflammation and Therapeutics

Author(s): Caroline M.O. Volpe, Jose A. Nogueira-Machado

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery
Continued as New Advances on Endocrine Metabolic and Immune Diseases

Volume 7 , Issue 3 , 2013


Obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis have all been associated with high levels of free fatty acid (FFA). In the present review, we suggest that FFA may act as either pro- or anti-inflammatory agents depending on the chemical structure. Saturated fatty acids (SFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) significantly differ in their contributions to inflammation. While SFAs have been shown to induce inflammation, PUFAs have anti-inflammatory effects by downregulating NF-kappaB, IL-1β, TNFα- and IL-6 despite upregulating of IL-10. It is suggested that FFA may activate Toll Like Receptor-4 (TLR4) and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) activating signaling pathways that promote production and release of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TFN-α). Fatty acid action on TLR4, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and GPCRs are potential therapeutic targets for controlling FFA-induced inflammation. Approaches that downregulate the inflammatory properties of free fatty acid are discussed in this manuscript. In this review, some patents associated with controlling FFA effects are also reported.

Keywords: Free fatty acid (FFA), GPCR (G-protein-coupled receptors), inflammation, PPAR (peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptors), Toll-like receptors (TLR).

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2013
Published on: 31 August, 2013
Page: [189 - 197]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/18715303113139990041
Price: $58

Article Metrics

PDF: 42