Adipokines and blood pressure control

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Abstract

Purpose of review

In contrast to previous understanding, adipocytes are now known to produce an array of factors collectively termed ‘adipokines’, several of which have effects on the cardiovascular system. The marked rise in prevalence of obesity warrants investigation into the role of adipocyte-derived factors in the regulation of blood pressure. For example, dysregulated production of specific adipokines in the setting of obesity may contribute to hypertension commonly experienced in obese patients. This editorial highlights current concepts for regulation of adipokine production by adipocytes and their potential role in blood pressure regulation.

Recent findings

Adipocytes synthesize and release several factors that have been linked to blood pressure control, including adiponectin, leptin, angiotensin, perivascular relaxation factors and resistin. Increasing evidence suggests that aberrant production and release of these factors from adipocytes may contribute to the high prevalence of hypertension in the obese population. However, additional studies are warranted to define precise mechanisms for blood pressure regulation by these factors, and to delineate their role in obesity-related hypertension.

Summary

Studies aimed at determining the role of adipocyte-derived factors in blood pressure regulation during normal physiology and in the setting of obesity are needed.

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