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Curr Opin Lipidol. 2003 Dec;14(6):561-6.

Obesity, adiponectin and vascular inflammatory disease.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Molecular Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan.



Obesity is the most common risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in industrial countries. It is now clear that adipose tissue secretes various bioactive substances, conceptualized as adipocytokines, and that dysregulation of adipocytokines directly contributes to obesity-related diseases. Chronic inflammatory processes contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. In this review, the authors focus on the relationship between adiponectin, a recently discovered anti-atherogenic adipocytokine, and vascular inflammation.


Plasma concentrations of adiponectin, an adipocyte-specific protein, are reduced in obese subjects and in patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. Adiponectin inhibits the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced endothelial adhesion molecules, macrophage-to-foam cell transformation, tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression in macrophages and adipose tissues, and smooth muscle cell proliferation. In addition, adenovirus-expressed adiponectin reduces atherosclerotic lesions in a mouse model of atherosclerosis, and adiponectin-deficient mice exhibit an excessive vascular remodeling response to injury. Clinically, hypoadiponectinemia is closely associated with increased levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.


Adiponectin acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic plasma protein. Adiponectin is an endogenous biologically relevant modulator of vascular remodeling linking obesity and vascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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