, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 165-176
Date: 01 Oct 2007

Adiponectin and the cardiovascular system: from risk to disease

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Abstract

Adiponectin is known to play a role in fatty acid and glucose metabolism through a change in insulin sensitivity and activation of fuel oxidation by AMP-activated protein kinase. Adiponectin can be considered an important factor able to modulate the adipovascular axis which, through genomic and environmental influences, affects the cardiovascular risk milieu, from the pre-metabolic syndrome — through the metabolic syndrome — to the overt atherosclerotic process and its clinical manifestations. Hypoadiponectinaemia can be viewed as an early sign of a complex cardiovascular risk factor predisposing to the atherosclerosis process as well as a contributing factor accelerating the progress of the atherosclerotic plaque. In addition, adiponectin per se holds a protective role thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antiatherogenic properties. The early identification of patients “at cardiovascular risk” means in the current practice to search for indexes of metabolic derangements and pro-inflammatory status (adiponectin) from adolescence and childhood.