Saturday, January 31, 2015

Obesity as a driver of cardiovascular disease: inflammatory mechanisms

From a recent review:

Obesity has become an important public health issue in Western and developing countries, with well known metabolic and cardiovascular complications. In the last decades, evidence have been growing about the active role of adipose tissue as an endocrine organ in determining these pathological consequences. As a consequence of the expansion of fat depots, in obese subjects, adipose tissue cells develope a phenotypic modification, which turns into a change of the secretory output. Adipocytokines produced by both adipocytes and adipose stromal cells are involved in the modulation of glucose and lipid handling, vascular biology and, moreover, participate to the systemic inflammatory response, which characterizes obesity and metabolic syndrome. This might represent an important pathophysiological link with atherosclerotic complications and cardiovascular events. A great number of adipocytokines have been described recently, linking inflammatory mileu and vascular pathology. The understanding of these pathways is crucial not only from a pathophysiological point of view, but also to a better cardiovascular disease risk stratification and to the identification of possible therapeutic targets.

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