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Current Vascular Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-1611
ISSN (Online): 1875-6212

Endothelial Dysfunction, Obesity and Insulin Resistance

Author(s): Dolores Prieto, Cristina Contreras and Ana Sanchez

Volume 12, Issue 3, 2014

Page: [412 - 426] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/1570161112666140423221008

Price: $65


Obesity is a metabolic disorder of increasing prevalence worldwide and a risk factor for the development of insulin resistance (IR), metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is related to endothelial dysfunction through indirect mechanisms such as IR and the associated risk factors, and through direct mechanisms including the production of proinflammatory adipokines and elevated levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) by adipose tissue. Both clinical and experimental studies using genetic and diet-induced animal models of obesity have consistently shown impaired metabolic, agonistor flow-induced vasodilatations correlated with the amount of visceral adipose tissue and improved by dietary interventions and exercise. Compromised bioavailability of NO due to oxidative stress emerges as a main cause of endothelial dysfunction in obesity. Inflamed adipose tissue due to hypoxia, and in particular perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), secrete larger amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and adipokines that deteriorate NO signaling pathways. Abnormal production and activity of the vasoconstrictor/proatherogenic peptide endothelin-1 (ET-1) is also a hallmark of the obesity- associated endothelial dysfunction. Obesity, and in particular visceral obesity, is one of the main causes of IR, and the pathogenic factors that induce endothelial dysfunction in the earlier stages of obesity will further deteriorate the insulin signaling pathways in endothelial cells thus leading to blunted vasodilatation and abnormal capillary recruitment and substrate delivery by insulin to the target tissues. The present review is an attempt to summarize the current knowledge and the latest novel findings on the pathogenic mechanisms underlying endothelial dysfunction in obesity, in particular the local contribution of oxidative stress and inflammatory response from PVAT, and its role in the obesity-associated cardiovascular and metabolic complications.

Keywords: Endothelial dysfunction, endothelin-1, inflammation, nitric oxide, insulin resistance, obesity, oxidative stress, perivascular adipose tissue.

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