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Pre-B Cell Colony Enhancing Factor/NAMPT/Visfatin in Inflammation and Obesity- Related Disorders

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Whereas prototypic adipocytokines such as adiponectin or leptin are mainly derived from adipocytes, others such as pre-B cell colony enhancing factor (PBEF)/nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase (NAMPT)/visfatin or resistin are produced by various cell types throughout the body. Although first discovery of this molecule as PBEF suggested primarily a cytokine function, its rediscovery as the key enzyme in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) generation has considerably widened its biological perspective. Finally, the same molecule was introduced as visfatin claiming an insulin-mimetic effect which has been questioned. Both extracellular (cytokinelike) and intracellular (enzymatic) functions are responsible for its relevance in immune, metabolic and stress responses. Its cytokine functions are mainly pro-inflammatory as it induces potently various other pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) or interleukin-6 (IL-6). Its intracellular functions concentrate on the regulation of the activity of NAD-consuming enzymes such as various sirtuins thereby also affecting TNFα biosynthesis, cell life-span and longevity. Biochemical neutralization of PBEF/NAMPT/visfatin has been proven effective in various models of inflammation including sepsis/arthritis and in various models of cancer. Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) exhibit increased serum concentrations of PBEF/Nampt/visfatin and weight loss is associated both with a decrease in serum levels and reduced liver expression. Many of the biological functions of this “cytokine-enzyme” have been characterized in the last years, however, its definite role in various metabolic, inflammatory and malignant diseases has yet to be defined. (232 words)
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Keywords: NAMPT; PBEF; fatty liver disease; inflammation; visfatin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Christian Doppler Research Laboratory for Gut Inflammation and Department of Medicine II (Gastroenterology and Hepatology), Medical University Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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