Biological specificity of visceral adipose tissue and therapeutic intervention

Arch Physiol Biochem. 2008 Oct;114(4):277-86. doi: 10.1080/13813450802334752.


With excess energy storage, obesity develops, leading to increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The distribution of body fat appears to be even more important than the total amount of fat. Abdominal and, in particular, visceral adiposity is strongly linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, sleep apnea, and other complications of obesity. Visceral adiposity, manifested as a high waist circumference, is now accepted as a major component of the metabolic syndrome. However, the biological mechanisms underlying the adverse impact of visceral fat accumulation remain to be established. This review will focus on the analysis of the biological specificity of adipose tissue located in the abdominal region, and will explore intervention strategies targeting the impaired function of the visceral adipocyte as potential therapies for the cardio-metabolic outcomes of patients with the metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators / metabolism
  • Eating
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
  • Insulin
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1