About this Research Topic
As demonstrated by the recent proliferation of literature on this subject, the physiological significance of adipose tissue and its role in health and disease is increasingly evident.
The traditional concept of fat as a passive energy storage site has been replaced by the notion of adipose tissue as an active secretory organ that produces numerous molecules (adipocytokines) critically involved not only in the modulation of energy homeostasis but in also in a wide range of metabolic, immune, neurohormonal, and cardiovascular function. White, brown, and the more recently identified beige (brite) phenotypes of adipose tissue may represent a prerequisite for fulfilling the distinct functions.
Therefore, derangements in the adipose tissue regulation, as occurring with excess adiposity, have a broad pathophysiological impact, with the consequences for cardiovascular health being particularly detrimental. Local and systemic effects of obesity-related adipose tissue abnormalities include altered lipid and glucose metabolism, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, cardiac and vascular remodeling, fibrosis, hypercoagulability, and cell proliferation. The cardiovascular implications of ectopic fat and specifically accumulation of visceral, pericardial and perivascular adipose tissue have also been described. As a result, excess adiposity is associated with elevated prevalence and incidence of subclinical risk factors and overt cardiovascular diseases, making obesity the leading contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide.
By providing contributions from pre-clinical and clinical studies, this Research Topic aims at reviewing current evidence on adipose tissue biology with special emphasis on phenotypes, functions and ramifications for cardiovascular disease risk. The structure and physiology of adipose tissue phenotypes, the pathological role of adipose tissue dysregulation and underlying candidate mechanisms mediating increased cardiovascular risk are examined in a translational manner. Data on the interplay between excess adiposity, body weight regulation, and conventional and novel precursors of cardiovascular disease are also presented. Lastly, we discuss preventive and therapeutic interventions to attenuate excess adiposity, focusing on their benefits in terms of cardiovascular risk reduction.
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