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J Ren Nutr. 2005 Jan;15(1):131-6.

Adipose tissue and its relation to inflammation: the role of adipokines.

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Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Clinical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


An activated inflammatory response is a common feature of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and predicts outcome. Although various factors related to the dialysis procedure may contribute to inflammation in ESRD, a number of nondialysis-related factors also are of importance. Adipose tissue is a complex organ with functions far beyond the mere storage of energy and secretes a number of proinflammatory adipokines, such as leptin, resistin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6, as well as one anti-inflammatory adipokine, adiponectin. It has been proposed that adipose tissue may be a significant contributor to increased systemic inflammation in nonrenal patients. In this review, we put forward the hypothesis that a reduction of renal mass will contribute to retention of proinflammatory adipokines, thus generating adipokine imbalance. Such an imbalance may, via effects on the central nervous system and the vasculature, contribute to wasting, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance--all common features of ESRD.

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