Adipose tissue: the link between obesity and cardiovascular disease

Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets. 2008 Sep;8(3):228-37. doi: 10.2174/187152908785849080.


The ever-increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with obesity is linked through signaling pathways within adipose tissue. Adipose tissue functions as an endocrine organ, producing and secreting a variety of bioactive molecules. In obesity, the adipose tissue itself undergoes changes in cell size which alters its normal physiological function. Altered adipocyte function changes production and secretion of adipokines, such as leptin, adiponectin, angiotensinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, resistin, and several inflammatory molecules. Adipokines interact with other tissues and cells in the body, including many pathways linked to CVD. Future research in the area of obesity-related CVD requires further investigation into a combination of lifestyle and pharmacological therapies that alter adipokine production by reducing adipocyte size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / pathology*