Endothelial Dysfunction in Morbid Obesity
Maria Dolores Mauricio, Martin Aldasoro, Joaquin Ortega and Jose Maria Vila
Affiliation: Departamento de Fisiología, Universidad de Valencia, Av. Blasco Ibanez 15, 46010 Valencia, Spain.
Keywords: Morbid obesity, nitric oxide (NO), endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation, Bariatric surgery (BS).
Morbid obesity is a chronic multifunctional disease characterized by an accumulation of fat. Epidemiological studies have
shown that obesity is associated with cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Endothelial dysfunction, as defined by an imbalance between
relaxing and contractile endothelial factors, plays a central role in the pathogenesis of these cardiometabolic diseases. Diminished
bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) contributes to endothelial dysfunction and impairs endothelium- dependent vasodilatation. But this is
not the only mechanism that drives to endothelial dysfunction. Obesity has been associated with a chronic inflammatory process, atherosclerosis,
and oxidative stress. Moreover levels of asymmetrical dimethyl-L-arginine (ADMA), an endogenous inhibitor of endothelial nitric
oxide synthase (eNOS), are elevated in obesity. On the other hand, increasing prostanoid-dependent vasoconstriction and decreasing
vasodilator prostanoids also lead to endothelial dysfunction in obesity. Other mechanisms related to endothelin-1 (ET-1) or endothelium
derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) have been proposed. Bariatric surgery (BS) is a safe and effective means to achieve significant
weight loss, but its use is limited only to patients with severe obesity including morbid obesity. BS also proved efficient in endothelial
dysfunction reduction improving cardiovascular and metabolic comorbidities associated with morbid obesity such as diabetes, coronary
artery disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. This review will provide a brief overview of the mechanisms that link obesity
with endothelial dysfunction, and how weight loss is a cornerstone treatment for cardiovascular comorbidities obesity-related. A better
understanding of the mechanisms of obesity-induced endothelial dysfunction may help develop new therapeutic strategies to reduce cardiovascular
morbidity and mortality.
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