DS0407 - Exploration du système nerveux dans son fonctionnement normal et pathologique

Neurocognitive impact of juvenile obesity: experimental and clinical approaches – OBETEEN

Submission summary

The project “teenage obesity” (OBETEEN) aims at providing France and Mexico with high profile research concerning the neurocognitive impact of juvenile obesity.
Current surveys attest that the obesity epidemic is reaching an alarming level since about 45% of French adults and over 71% of Mexican adults are considered overweight or obese. The prevalence and severity of overweight are also increasing dramatically in children and adolescents. Mexico is now the country with more childhood/juvenile obesity in the world. This is of crucial importance considering that obesity during infancy and adolescence predicts obesity at adulthood.
Obesity is a major health issue because it clearly reduces life expectancy due to an increased prevalence of resulting diseases (hypertension, cancers, diabetes …). In addition, obesity is associated with neurocognitive features, affecting in particular learning and memory function, which could consequently impair the quality of life and require a more extended disease management. This can be particularly problematic as childhood and adolescence are crucial periods for the maturation of some brain structures, like the hippocampus and the amygdala, necessary for shaping cognitive function for the whole life duration.
Given its socioeconomical importance, the OBETEEN project aims at providing a multilevel, multicenter analysis of the neurocognitive impact of juvenile obesity focusing on hippocampal and amygdala-dependent memory function. This project relies heavily upon complementary approaches that are provided by the unique arrangement of expertise of the French and Mexican partners. In this project we have the ambition to provide the scientific community a comprehensive model that includes behavioural, systemic and neuronal levels.
Using a correlative approach, the first aim of this project is to perform a bicenter human study on the impact of obesity in adolescents on memory performance in France and Mexico. This will be achieved by performing standardized and sophisticated tests of amygdala and hippocampal-dependent memory functions in obese adolescent subjects (French Partners 1 and 3 and Mexican Partner 4) and by evaluating brain functioning and connectivity between these 2 brain areas by functional magnetic resonance imagery (French Partners 1, 2 and 3 and Mexican Partner 4).
Using animal models, the second aim of the OBETEEN project is to provide mechanisms concerning the impact of diet-induced obesity during adolescence on memory and to investigate the beneficial effects of voluntary exercise. In particular we will establish whether memory alterations (in tasks addressing amygdala and hippocampal functions) induced by obesogenic diet consumption during adolescence involved changes in coordinated amygdalo-hippocampal functioning as assessed with state of the art electrophysiological and microdialysis approaches (Mexican Partners 6 and 7). Then the causal link between amygdalo-hippocampal interactions and memory alterations will be determined using pharmacogenetic tools allowing to specifically manipulating amygdalo-hippocampal pathways (French Partner 2). Finally, the beneficial effect of running activity will be evaluated at both cellular and behavioural levels on juvenile obesity-induced alterations of amygdalo-hippocampal functions (French Partner 1).
This consortium is therefore very well armed to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the crucial question of how and where in the brain of developing subjects obesogenic diet influences memory abilities. All the partners are convinced that the research undertaken in the OBETEEN project is of great scientific and socio-economical importance.

Project coordination

Guillaume Ferreira (Laboratoire Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CHU-Bordeaux Groupe Hospitalier Pellegrin
CINVESTAV-IPN Pharmacology Department, Center for Research and Advances Studies, National Polytechnic Institute
IFC-UNAM Cellular Physiology Institute, Nacional Autonomous University of México
UAM Health Science Department, Metropolitan Autonomous University
INCIA Institut des sciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine
NutriNeuro Laboratoire Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée

Help of the ANR 274,524 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2015 - 36 Months

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