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Future Lipidol. 2008;3(5):545-556.

Macrophage infiltration into adipose tissue: initiation, propagation and remodeling.

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Nashville, TN 37232, USA Tel.: +1 615 322 5972; ;


It has long been known that adipose tissue in obesity is in a heightened state of inflammation. Recently, our understanding of this has been transformed by the knowledge that immune cells such as macrophages and T cells can infiltrate adipose tissue and are responsible for the majority of inflammatory cytokine production. These seminal findings have opened up a new area in biology that is garnering the interest of scientists involved in research relating to cell motility, inflammation, obesity, physiology, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Some important general questions relevant to this field are: how are macrophages recruited to adipose tissue in obesity? What are the physiological consequences of macrophage-adipocyte interactions? Do these inflammatory macrophages contribute to pathophysiological conditions associated with obesity, such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease? This review focuses on the first of these important questions.

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