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Am J Med Sci. 2009 Oct;338(4):310-8. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e3181a4158c.

Cytokine biomarkers, endothelial inflammation, and atherosclerosis in the metabolic syndrome: emerging concepts.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina 29203, USA.


In recent years, an explosion of research related to the cellular and vascular accompaniments of the metabolic syndrome has generated intense interest and controversy. Attention has focused on the vascular endothelium, where heightened, low-grade inflammatory processes lead to a continuum of vascular insults ranging from early endothelial derangements to advanced atherosclerosis. Inflammatory biocytokines, such as C-reactive protein, have been speculated to be both markers and mediators of oxidative stress and endovascular toxicity. Adipocytokines originating from fatty tissue have reinforced the concept that fat is a metabolically active organ rather than inert tissue. To fully elucidate its complex pathogenetic mechanisms, further inquiry into the inflammatory components of the metabolic syndrome is warranted. Unraveling the role of emerging proinflammatory markers has the promising potential to shed light into the underlying pathophysiology of the epidemic of obesity and the metabolic syndrome and thus help devise effective therapies.

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