Tissue–Specific Insulin Signaling, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Disease
Impaired insulin signaling is central to development of the metabolic syndrome and can promote cardiovascular disease indirectly through development of abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism, hypertension, and a proinflammatory state. However, insulin’s action directly on vascular endothelium, atherosclerotic plaque macrophages, and in the heart, kidney, and retina has now been described, and impaired insulin signaling in these locations can alter progression of cardiovascular disease in the metabolic syndrome and affect development of microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus. Recent advances in our understanding of the complex pathophysiology of insulin’s effects on vascular tissues offer new opportunities for preventing these cardiovascular disorders.
- Received May 14, 2012.
- Accepted July 12, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.