Adipokines with vasoactive or inflammatory effects

IL-6 and TNF-a are among the well-known cytokines consistently found to be increased in obesity, comprising elevations both at the adipose tissue expression level and the bloodstream (11,27). The list of factors shown to be implicated either directly or indirectly in the regulation of vascular homeostasis through effects on blood pressure, inflammation, atherogenesis, coagulation, fibrinolysis, angiogenesis, proliferation, apoptosis, and immunity has increased at a phenomenal pace (5-12,14-18,21,24). By definition, adipocytokines are cytokines produced by adipocytes. Although adipose tissue secretes a variety of factors, strictly speaking, not all of them can be contemplated as cytokines. Therefore, the less strict term of "adipokines" has been coined to include a wider range of factors. Leptin, adipsin, resistin, adiponectin, and visfatin fall within the category that satisfy the more strict requirements to be properly classified (11).

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