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Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
Vol. 21 (2014) No. 7 p. 629-639

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http://doi.org/10.5551/jat.22533

Review

The epidemic growth in the prevalence of obesity has made the impact of metabolic syndrome on cardiovascular events increasingly significant. Elevated visceral adiposity, the indispensable component of metabolic syndrome, is thought to play a primary role in the increasing incidence of cardiometabolic disorders. Importantly, obesity is not merely the simple expansion of adipose tissue mass; it also involves the activation of inflammatory processes within visceral adipose tissue. Adipose tissue inflammation on the one hand enhances the production of proinflammatory adipokines and on the other hand increases the release of free fatty acids via the activation of lipolysis. The adipokines and free fatty acids secreted from visceral fat then contribute to a cardiometabolic pathology. We herein summarize recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which visceral obesity leads to the activation of inflammation in cardiovascular and metabolic tissues and promotes cardiometabolic disease. Our focus is on Toll-like receptor 4 signaling and free fatty acids as mediators of chronic inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis.

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