Obesity is now a prevalent disease worldwide and has a multi-factorial etiology. Several viruses or virus-like agents including members of adenoviridae, herpesviridae, slow virus (prion), and hepatitides, have been associated with obesity; meanwhile obese patients are shown to be more susceptible to viral infections such as during influenza and dengue epidemics. We examined the co-factorial role of viral infections, particularly of the persistent cases, in synergy with high-fat diet in induction of obesity. Antiviral interferons (IFNs), as key immune regulators against viral infections and in autoimmunity, emerge to be a pivotal player in the regulation of adipogenesis. In this review, we examine the recent evidence indicating that gut microbiota uphold intrinsic IFN signaling, which is extensively involved in the regulation of lipid metabolism. However, the prolonged IFN responses during persistent viral infections and obesogenesis comprise reciprocal causality between virus susceptibility and obesity. Furthermore, some IFN subtypes have shown therapeutic potency in their anti-inflammation and anti-obesity activity.
Tian, Y.; Jennings, J.; Gong, Y.; Sang, Y. Viral Infections and Interferons in the Development of Obesity. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 726. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110726