The effect of quantity and quality of dietary fat intake on subcutaneous white adipose tissue inflammatory responses

The global prevalence of obesity and obesity-associated cardiometabolic diseases is a significant public health burden. Chronic low-grade inflammation in metabolic tissues such as white adipose tissue (WAT) is linked to obesity and may play a role in disease progression. The overconsumption of dietary fat has been suggested to modulate the WAT inflammatory environment. It is also recognised that fats varying in degree of fatty acid (FA) saturation may elicit differential WAT inflammatory responses. This information has originated predominantly from animal or cell models and translation into humans in vivo remains limited. This review will summarise human intervention studies investigating the effect of dietary fat quantity and quality on subcutaneous WAT inflammation, with a specific focus on the toll like receptor 4 (TLR4)/nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and nucleotide-binding and oligomerisation domain-like receptor, leucine-rich repeat and pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome molecular signalling pathways. Overall, firm conclusions are hard to draw regarding the effect of dietary fat quantity and quality on WAT inflammatory responses due to the heterogeneity of study designs, composition of the diets and participant cohorts recruited. Previous studies have predominantly focused on measures of WAT gene expression. It is suggested that future work includes measures of WAT total content and phosphorylation of proteins involved in TLR4/NF-κB and NLRP3 signalling as this is more representative of alterations in WAT physiological function. Understanding pathways linking intake of total fat and specific FAs with WAT metabolic-inflammatory responses may have important implications for public health by informing dietary guidelines aimed at cardiometabolic risk reduction