Clinical observations support the postulate that chronic low-grade inflammation underlies
metabolic diseases and inflammatory mediators can trigger some metabolic diseases. In disorder condition,
what is the first one: metabolic diseases cause inflammation or conversely? This “chicken or
egg” type question was hard to answer. However, instead of focusing on this difficult issue, we
should ask another challenging question: what are the links between inflammation and metabolic diseases?
Seizing the key from this chaos may be the best way to solve the problem and break the cycle.
To answer this question, we review the regulators (such as NF-κB, PPARs, mTOR, and STAT3) that
have important roles in both metabolism and inflammation. These “bridge proteins” that link metabolic
diseases and inflammation not only increase our understanding of these two diseases, but also
provide potential targets for therapeutics and practical clinical applications.