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Reduced olfactory bulb volume in obesity and its relation to metabolic health status

MPS-Authors
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Poessel,  Maria
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Breuer,  Nora
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Pampel,  André
Methods and Development Unit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;
Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany;
International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany;
International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication: Function, Structure, and Plasticity, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Horstmann,  Annette
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland;
Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Poessel_Breuer_2020.pdf
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Citation

Poessel, M., Breuer, N., Joshi, A., Pampel, A., Villringer, A., Hummel, T., et al. (2020). Reduced olfactory bulb volume in obesity and its relation to metabolic health status. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14: 586998. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2020.586998.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-7A31-9
Abstract
Smell perception plays an important role in eating behavior and might be involved in body weight gain. Since a body of literature implies that olfactory perception and function is hampered in obesity, we here investigate neuroanatomical correlates of this phenomenon. We assessed olfactory bulb (OB) volume with magnetic resonance imaging in 67 healthy participants with a body mass index (BMI) from 18.9 to 45.4 kg/m2 (mean = 28.58 ± 6.64). Moreover, we obtained psychophysiological data on olfactory ability (Sniffin’ Sticks, Food associated odor test) and self-report measurements on eating behavior. Additionally, we collected parameters associated with metabolic health in obesity (waist-hip ratio, waist-height ratio, leptin levels, body fat percentage, fat mass index, insulin resistance) to investigate recently proposed mechanistic explanatory models of why olfaction may be altered in obesity. We showed that OB volume was significantly lower in participants with obesity when compared to those of normal weight. Moreover, we found weak to moderate negative correlations between OB volume and BMI and related measures of metabolic health, especially leptin, body fat percentage, waist-height ratio and insulin resistance. However, neither OB volume nor BMI were related to olfactory function in our young and healthy sample. Nevertheless, our results provide first indications that obesity is associated with brain anatomical changes in the OBs.