Adipose tissue: a motor for the inflammation associated with obesity

IUBMB Life. 2009 Apr;61(4):424-30. doi: 10.1002/iub.169.


Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that continues to grow at an alarming rate. This condition increases the morbidity and mortality associated with both acute and chronic diseases. Some of the deleterious consequences of obesity have been attributed to its induction of a low-grade chronic inflammatory state that arises from the production and secretion of inflammatory mediators from the expanded pool of activated adipocytes. This review focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the proposed link between obesity and inflammation, and it addresses how obesity-induced inflammation may account for increased morbidity and mortality that is associated with a diverse group of diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / blood supply
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Microcirculation
  • Models, Biological*
  • Obesity / complications*


  • Adipokines