Fatty acids as cell signals in ingestive behaviors

Dianne P. Figlewicz*, Renger F. Witkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Common dietary fatty acids, including palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, have been studied in the context of overall dietary fat and shown to impact on several types of behaviors, most prominently cognitive behaviors and ingestive behaviors. The independent effects of these fatty acids have been less well-delineated. Several studies implicate these common fatty acids in modulation of the CNS immune/inflammatory response as a key mediator of behavioral effects. However, signaling actions of the fatty acids to regulate cell structure and neuronal or synaptic function have been identified in numerous studies, and the relevance or contribution(s) of these to ingestive behavioral outcomes represent an area for future study. Finally, fatty acids are precursors of endocannabinoids and their structural congeners. Being highly dynamic and complex, the endocannabinoid system plays a key role ingestive behavior via cellular and synaptic mechanisms, thus representing another important area for future study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112985
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

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