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Trends Mol Med. 2005 Aug;11(8):344-7.

Visfatin: the missing link between intra-abdominal obesity and diabetes?

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  • 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QR, UK.


Human obesity-related diabetes and the accompanying metabolic disorders have been specifically linked to increased visceral adipose tissue mass. Understanding the differences in biology of the two human fat depots (visceral and subcutaneous) might hold the key to therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing obesity-induced insulin resistance and alleviating symptoms of the metabolic syndrome. Visfatin (pre-B-cell colony-enhancing factor, PBEF) is a novel adipokine that appears to be preferentially produced by visceral adipose tissue and has insulin-mimetic actions. Could this molecule hold the key to future treatments for type 1 and 2 diabetes? This article discusses the pros and cons of visfatin action and how it might affect future therapeutic strategies.

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