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Obesity and the development of type 2 diabetes: the effects of fatty tissue inflammation

Authors Schuster D

Published 16 July 2010 Volume 2010:3 Pages 253—262

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S7354

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Dara P Schuster

Departments of Internal Medicine and Surgery, Divisions of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Gastrointestinal Surgery, The Ohio State University Hospitals and Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Abstract: Obesity is a worldwide epidemic with multiple obesity-associated health problems including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Adipose tissue serves as a fuel storage depot, but also plays a pivotal role in homeostasis of energy expenditure, appetite regulation, glucose regulation, and immunity. Both genetics and environment play important roles in adipose tissue function and dysfunction. Obesity represents an abnormal accumulation of adipose tissue resulting from chronic overnutrition and reduced physical activity. The nature of this increased accumulation of fat tissue, whether hyperplasia or hypertrophy, local or ectopic, is associated with deleterious perturbations including excess fatty acid secretion, increased production of inflammatory cytokines, and abnormal adipocyte hormone signaling resulting in insulin resistance. In the setting of obesity, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation is postulated to play a role in development of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related comorbidities including obstructive sleep apnea, hepatic steatosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Although the exact mechanism of these relationships are complex and not completely understood, the ability to store and limit fatty acid deposition to adipose tissue is a common component to remaining insulin sensitive, controlling the inflammatory cascade and reducing the risk of developing obesity-related comorbidities.

Keywords: adipose tissue, inflammatory cascade, adipocyte, insulin resistance, glucose ¬regulation, healthy obese

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