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White adipose tissue and cardiovascular disease.

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Sumitomo Hospital and Osaka University, 5-3-20 Nakanoshima, Osaka, Japan.


Adipocytes have recently been shown to secrete a variety of bioactive substances called 'adipocytokines', and have been recognized as endocrine cells. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alphaalpha, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and heparin-binding epidermal-growth-factor-like growth factor (HBEGF) are among these adipocytokines, and they contribute to the development of vascular diseases. Visfatin is a visceral fat-specific protein that may be related to the development of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In contrast, adiponectin, an adipose-tissue-specific collagen-like protein, has recently been reported as an important anti-atherogenic and anti-diabetic protein. Adipocytokine secretion may be regulated dynamically by the nutritional state. Visceral fat accumulation leads to dysfunction of adipocytes (including hypersecretion of TNF-alphaalpha, PAI-1 and HBEGF, and hyposecretion of adiponectin), which results in the development of a variety of metabolic and circulatory diseases. In this review, the importance of adipocytokines, including adiponectin, is discussed with respect to cardiovascular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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