Mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in obesity

Metabolic Diseases--Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, School of Medicine, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy.
Clinica Chimica Acta (Impact Factor: 2.76). 11/2005; 360(1-2):9-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.cccn.2005.04.020
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obesity is a chronic disease, whose incidence is alarmingly growing, affecting not only adults but also children and adolescents. It is associated with severe metabolic abnormalities and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Adipose tissue secretes a great number of hormones and cytokines that not only regulate substrate metabolism but may deeply and negatively influence endothelial physiology, a condition which may lead to the formation of the atherosclerotic plaque. In this review, the physiology of the endothelium is summarised and the mechanisms by which obesity, through the secretory products of adipose tissue, influences endothelial function are explained. A short description of methodological approaches to diagnose endothelial dysfunction is presented. The possible pathogenetic links between obesity and cardiovascular disease, mediated by oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are described as well.

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