The prevalence of obesity continues to increase throughout the world in an analogous way to that of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Excess adiposity and accompanying insulin resistance is frequently associated to the development of cardiovascular disease.
The circulating hormone resistin, which is produced mainly by adipocytes and appears to be increased in obesity and inflammation, seems to play a role in this association. Some studies indicate that T2DM patients have increased circulating concentrations of resistin, although these results need further confirmation. Increased resistin concentrations have been described in patients with severe inflammatory disease. However, the precise physiological role of resistin in the pathogenesis and perpetuation of inflammation remains unclear. Resistin exerts direct effects to promote the activation of endothelial cells inducing the release of endothelin-1, increasing the expression of adhesion molecules and chemokines, and potentiating the effect of the CD40 ligand.
The present review summarizes recent advances in understanding the physiology of resistin and analyzes the involvement of this hormone in inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
CITATION Curr Diabetes Rev. 2005 Aug;1(3):227-34