Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 25–34 | Cite as

Adipose tissue-mediated inflammation: the missing link between obesity and cardiovascular disease?

  • Paolo Calabrò
  • Enrica Golia
  • Valeria Maddaloni
  • Marco Malvezzi
  • Beniamino Casillo
  • Carla Marotta
  • Raffaele Calabrò
  • Paolo Golino
IM - Review


Until relatively recently, the role of adipose tissue in the development of obesity and its consequences was considered to be a passive one. Mounting evidence highlights the role of adipose tissue in the development of a systemic inflammatory state that contributes to obesity-associated vasculopathy and cardiovascular risk. It is now clear that, in addition to storing calories as triglycerides, adipocytes secrete a large variety of cytokines, chemokines and hormone-like factors, such as leptin, resistin, and acute-phase proteins. In addition, insulin resistance, both in nondiabetic and diabetic subjects, is frequently associated with obesity, particularly with an excess of intraabdominal fat. This production of pro-atherogenic substances is of particular interest since an increase in the plasma levels of these mediators may provide a novel mechanistic link between obesity and its vascular complications.


Obesity Adipose tissue Inflammation Cardiovascular risk 


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Copyright information

© SIMI 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Calabrò
    • 1
  • Enrica Golia
    • 1
  • Valeria Maddaloni
    • 1
  • Marco Malvezzi
    • 1
  • Beniamino Casillo
    • 1
  • Carla Marotta
    • 2
  • Raffaele Calabrò
    • 1
  • Paolo Golino
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiothoracic SciencesSecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Division of Cardiology, San Sebastiano HospitalSecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly

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