Vascular Protection From the Fat?
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The obesity pandemic will likely have a significant impact on the global incidence of cardiovascular disease. Although the mechanisms linking obesity and cardiovascular disease are unclear, recent studies have implicated the adipocyte as a potentially important mediator of vascular complications. The adipocyte is no longer considered a passive storage depot for triglycerides and fatty acids, but rather an active metabolic organ capable of producing several factors, commonly referred to as adipocytokines or adipokines, that may have effects on many physiological and pathophysiological processes. With increasing fat mass, several adipose-related factors are upregulated that may affect local and distant inflammatory processes, including atherothrombosis.1–3 However, the most abundant known factor produced by the adipocyte, adiponectin, appears to be downregulated in most cases associated with increasing fat mass.4 Although most adipokines are thought to promote vascular disease, several studies over the past few years indicate adiponectin is actually protective against vascular disease.3
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Adiponectin, (also known as adipoQ, adipocyte complement-related protein of 30kD [ACRP30], adipose most abundant gene transcript-1 [apM1],5 and GBP286), was cloned using subtractive hybridization techniques from a cDNA library of differentiating adipocytes and …