Obesity is higher in women than men and has increased at a faster rate in women than men in the past 10 years. Increased prevalence of obesity puts women at greater risk for obesity-related health conditions including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and psychiatric illnesses.
Increased obesity in women may, in part, be explained by differences in the relationships between adipokines and oxidative stress in the brain as biological sex is implicated as a critical factor in the mechanistic pathway of oxidative stress and impacts concentrations of adipokines. Oxidative stress is induced by proinflammatory adipokines, such as leptin, and increased oxidative stress suppresses production of anti-inflammatory adipokines including adiponectin. Therefore, identifying sex differences in the link between oxidative stress and obesity-related adipokines is critical for our understanding of women’s brain health and may help explain increased obesity, inform treatment strategies, and improve negative health outcomes in this population.