The obesity pandemic will likely have a significant impact on the global incidence of cardiovascular disease. Although the mechanisms linking obesity and cardiovascular disease are unclear, recent studies have implicated the adipocyte as a potentially important mediator of vascular complications. The adipocyte is no longer considered a passive storage depot for triglycerides and fatty acids, but rather an active metabolic organ capable of producing several factors, commonly referred to as adipokines, that may have effects on many physiological and pathophysiological processes. With increasing fat mass, several adipose-related factors are upregulated that may affect local and distant inflammatory processes, including atherothrombosis. Other factors, such as adiponectin, are downregulated with increasing fat mass. Although most adipokines are thought to promote vascular disease, several studies over the past few years indicate adiponectin is actually protective against both diabetes and vascular disease. There are now available pharmacologic agents capable of altering the adipocyte transcription profile. This review will focus on the potential impact of adipocyte-derived factors towards vascular disease and emerging therapeutic strategies that may alter these effects.
Keywords: Thrombosis, adipose, diabetes, hemostasis, atherosclerosis
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