Adipose extracellular matrix remodelling in obesity and insulin resistance

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Abstract

The extracellular matrix (ECM) of adipose tissues undergoes constant remodelling to allow adipocytes and their precursor cells to change cell shape and function in adaptation to nutritional cues. Abnormal accumulation of ECM components and their modifiers in adipose tissues has been recently demonstrated to cause obesity-associated insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Integrins and other ECM receptors (e.g. CD44) that are expressed in adipose tissues have been shown to regulate insulin sensitivity. It is well understood that a hypoxic response is observed in adipose tissue expansion during obesity progression and that hypoxic response accelerates fibrosis and inflammation in white adipose tissues. The expansion of adipose tissues should require angiogenesis; however, the excess deposition of ECM limits the angiogenic response of white adipose tissues in obesity. While recent studies have focused on the metabolic consequences and the mechanisms of adipose tissue expansion and remodelling, little attention has been paid to the role played by the interaction between peri-adipocyte ECM and their cognate cell surface receptors. This review will address what is currently known about the roles played by adipose ECM, their modifiers, and ECM receptors in obesity and insulin resistance. Understanding how excess ECM deposition in the adipose tissue deteriorates insulin sensitivity would provide us hints to develop a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

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