Metabolic syndrome, autoimmunity and rheumatic diseases

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Graphical abstractMetabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic and cardiovascular (CV) risk factors including obesity and visceral adiposity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension contributing to CV mortality. The interface between the metabolic and immune systems has been of great interest recently. These interactions are regulated through genetics, nutritional status, and the intestinal microbiome. Alterations in the immune-metabolic cross-talk contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases. Adipokines exert a variety of metabolic activities contributing to the ethiopathogenesis of MetS and are involved in the regulation of both inflammatory processes and autoimmunity occurring in rheumatic diseases. Patients with autoinflammatory disease such as gout and those with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD), such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis and vasculitis among others, have increased prevalence of MetS. Despite recent advances in treatment of ARD, incidence of CVD remains high. MetS and altered secretion patterns of proinflammatory adipokines could be the link between CVDs and ARD. In addition, in ARD the activation of proinflammatory signalling pathways results in the induction of several biological markers of chronic inflammation contributing to CVD. In the present paper, we review recent evidences of the interactions between MetS and ARD, as well as novel therapeutic targets.

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