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Adiponectin: Merely a Bystander or the Missing Link to Cardiovascular Disease?

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Adiponectin, a newly discovered adipose-tissue secreting hormone, is a major regulator of a wide spectrum of physiological processes, such as energy metabolism, inflammation and vascular homeostasis. Emerging data suggest that adiponectin is the link between obesity and obesity-related disorders with cardiovascular disease. Adiponectin is a dominant insulin-sensitive adipokine and, in contrast to other adipose-tissue derived cytokines, it has major anti-diabetic, antiatherogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Adiponectin has been extensively studied in the context of several aspects and risk factors of cardiovascular disease such as obesity, diabetes type I and II, coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease and smoking. The aim of this article is to summarize the acquired so far knowledge on adiponectin in relation to cardiovascular disease, to review its main biological and biochemical characteristics, to highlight the main mechanisms of adiponectin-driven beneficial effects on vasculature and briefly to refer to the basic correlations of adiponectin with the important aforementioned aspects of cardiovascular disease.
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Keywords: Adiponectin; biomarker; cardiovascular disease; coronary artery disease; diabetes mellitus; heart failure; hypertension; metabolic syndrome; obesity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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