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Adipokines and the cardiovascular system: mechanisms mediating health and disease

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This review focuses on the role of adipokines in the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system, and the mechanisms by which these factors mediate the development of cardiovascular disease in obesity. Adipocytes are the major cell type comprising the adipose tissue. These cells secrete numerous factors, termed adipokines, into the blood, including adiponectin, leptin, resistin, chemerin, omentin, vaspin, and visfatin. Adipose tissue is a highly vascularised endocrine organ, and different adipose depots have distinct adipokine secretion profiles, which are altered with obesity. The ability of many adipokines to stimulate angiogenesis is crucial for adipose tissue expansion; however, excessive blood vessel growth is deleterious. As well, some adipokines induce inflammation, which promotes cardiovascular disease progression. We discuss how these 7 aforementioned adipokines act upon the various cardiovascular cell types (endothelial progenitor cells, endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, pericytes, cardiomyocytes, and cardiac fibroblasts), the direct effects of these actions, and their overall impact on the cardiovascular system. These were chosen, as these adipokines are secreted predominantly from adipocytes and have known effects on cardiovascular cells.
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Keywords: adipocytes; adipokines; angiogenesis; angiogenèse; cardiomyocytes; cardiovascular disease; cellular signaling; cellules de muscle lisse vasculaires; cellules endothéliales; endothelial cells; inflammation; maladie cardiovasculaire; obesity; obésité; signalisation cellulaire; vascular smooth muscle cells

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E OJ9, Canada. 2: Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E OJ9, Canada.

Publication date: August 10, 2012

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