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Chem Immunol Allergy. 2014;99:170-9. doi: 10.1159/000353254. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Angiogenesis as a therapeutic target for obesity and metabolic diseases.

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Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


White adipose tissue constantly experiences expansion and shrinkage during the entire adulthood, depending on the metabolic status of the host. Emerging evidence demonstrates that the plasticity of white adipose tissue is tightly controlled by the adipose vasculature, which may grow or regress to coordinate adipose tissue metabolism. In metabolically active brown adipose tissue, an exceedingly high density of blood vessels may perfuse oxygen for energy consumption. Consequently, modulation of vascular density and functions in both white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue may offer an exciting opportunity for therapeutic interference of obesity and metabolic disease. In fact, in several preclinical obese animal models, angiogenesis modulators significantly alter body weights and metabolic rates of the host, implying a possible new therapeutic option for treatment of these common human diseases. Additionally, angiogenesis modulators may significantly regulate insulin sensitivity and the development of type II diabetes. In fact, antiangiogenic or angiogenic drugs have been implicated for treatment of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Given the therapeutic values of angiogenesis modulators in preclinical animal models, it is reasonable to speculate these angiogenesis modulators may eventually be used for treatment of human obesity and metabolic disorders.

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