Gabriella Garruti, Agostino Di Ciaula, Helen H. Wang, David Q.-H. Wang, Piero Portincasa
Obesity is rapidly increasing and has reached epidemic features worldwide. It's linked to insulin resistance, systemic low-grade inflammation and common pathogenic pathways with a number of comorbidities (including cancer), leading to high mortality rates. Besides change of lifestyles (diet and physical exercise) and pharmacological therapy, bariatric surgery is able to rapidly improve several metabolic and morphologic features associated with excessive fat storage, and currently represents an in vivo model to study the pathogenic mechanisms underlying obesity and obesity-related complications. Studies on obese subjects undergoing bariatric surgery find that the effects of surgery are not simply secondary to gastric mechanical restriction and malabsorption which induce body weight loss. In fact, some surgical procedures positively modify key pathways involving the intestine, bile acids, receptor signaling, gut microbiota, hormones and thermogenesis, leading to systemic metabolic changes. Furthermore, bariatric surgery represents a suitable model to evaluate the gene-environment interaction and some epigenetic mechanisms linking obesity and insulin resistance to metabolic diseases.
Key words. Bariatric surgery., Bile acids., FXR., GLP1., GPBAR-1/TGR5., Obesity.