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Am J Cardiol. 2002 Sep 5;90(5A):27G-33G.

A rational approach to pathogenesis and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.

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Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.


Type 2 diabetes and obesity are major risk factors for the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) and premature atherosclerosis. Both conditions are associated with insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Inflammatory mediators, including plasma interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and tumor necrosis factor R are elevated in these individuals. The elevations of inflammatory mediators may contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, because atherosclerosis is an inflammation of the arterial wall. There is evidence that the thiazolidinedione (TZD) class of drugs may alleviate some of the adverse atherosclerotic effects common in patients with type 2 diabetes. Considerable recent data suggest that the TZDs possess anti-inflammatory properties and exert an effect on the atherogenic process, including effects on endothelial function, monocyte/macrophage function, lipid abnormalities, smooth muscle cell migration, and fibrinolysis, all functions that are abnormal in the presence of insulin resistance. These actions of TZDs are consistent with the recently described anti-inflammatory effects of insulin. The use of TZDs as potent anti-inflammatory agents in patients with type 2 diabetes is an approach that would normalize glucose levels, as well as potentially alleviate the long-term risk of atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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