Abstract

Adipose biology research has grown rapidly offering new insights into the physiological and pathophysiological roles of different body fat depots. This Thematic Collection of Clinical Science brings a well-rounded timely view of the recent development in this field. We highlight the state of the art on adipose tissue function/dysfunction in the context of cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies.

Over the past decade, research in the field of adipose biology has grown exponentially offering new insights into the physiological and pathophysiological roles of different body fat depots. The view of the adipose tissue evolved from a passive energy store to an endocrine structure with local and systemic influence, and eventually an organ regulating normal physiology and contributing not only to the pathology of metabolic disorders, but also to the detrimental processes leading to cardiovascular disease. This is supported by a rich body of literature describing the impact of dysfunctional adipose depots on cardiac and vascular structure and function. Moreover, adipose tissue changes were shown to occur in a gradual, insidious manner that might precede systemic changes with gross metabolic or functional manifestations. This offers a unique opportunity to develop disease modifying therapeutic interventions once the underlying mechanisms have been elucidated.

In this Thematic Collection of Clinical Science, we brought together a number of comprehensive articles highlighting the state of the art on the interaction between adipose tissue dysfunction and other cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies. To start, Burrell et al. [1] and Ceddia and Collins [2] present an updated view of the signaling pathways and the various receptors regulating adipose tissue function in health and disease, respectively. El-Mallah and Obeid [3] offer novel insights into the role of dietary protein in the regulation of adiposity and contribution to metabolic disease, whereas Gomez-Banoy and Lo [4] focus on the interaction between adipokines, as adipose tissue products, and β-cell function and failure in diabetes. Liu et al. [5] offer a different perspective linking adipose tissue to metabolic disease, particularly in the aging population, involving adipose senescence, while Santopaolo et al. share their views on the involvement of bone marrow adipose tissue in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus [6]. A number of articles provide mechanistic ties between adipose tissue inflammation and cardiovascular disorders. Ahmadieh et al. [7] and Anthony et al. [8] provide a molecular framework linking adipose inflammation to atherosclerosis and cardiac hypertrophy, respectively, while Chen et al. [9] suggest a novel role for short chain fatty acids in these disorders. Furthermore, Njeim et al. [10] outline the role of mTOR signaling triggered by enhanced oxidative stress in adipose tissue inflammation-induced renal injury. Kacirova et al. [11] expand the view of the detrimental outcome of adipose tissue dysfunction and the link with neurodegenerative disorders emphasizing metabolic and vascular pathogenetic components. Litzenburger et al. [12] demonstrate gender differences in dysfunctional adipose tissue programing along generations. Finally, Rafeh et al. [13] highlight novel molecular targets for possible selective therapeutic interventions with perivascular and epicardial adipose tissue inflammation to reduce or reverse cardiovascular complications of diabetes and obesity, while Fardoun and co-workers suggest the use of natural flavonoids to tackle adipose inflammation and the possible ensuing atherosclerosis [14]. We hope that the readers will be able to get a well-rounded view of the recent development in the field of adipose tissue biology and pathogenesis. Gaps in current knowledge were highlighted to help guide future research.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests associated with the manuscript.

References

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