• Central nervous system;
  • lipid metabolism;
  • white adipose tissue


The central nervous system (CNS) is crucial in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Many neuroanatomical studies have shown that the white adipose tissue (WAT) is innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a critical role in adipocyte lipid metabolism. Therefore, there are currently numerous reports indicating that signals from the CNS control the amount of fat by modulating the storage or oxidation of fatty acids. Importantly, some CNS pathways regulate adipocyte metabolism independently of food intake, suggesting that some signals possess alternative mechanisms to regulate energy homeostasis. In this review, we mainly focus on how neuronal circuits within the hypothalamus, such as leptin- ghrelin-and resistin-responsive neurons, as well as melanocortins, neuropeptide Y, and the cannabinoid system exert their actions on lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues such as WAT, liver or muscle. Dissecting the complicated interactions between peripheral signals and neuronal circuits regulating lipid metabolism might open new avenues for the development of new therapies preventing and treating obesity and its associated cardiometabolic sequelae.