Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México
versión impresa ISSN 1665-1146
BLANCAS-FLORES, Gerardo et al. Obesity as an inflammatory process. Bol. Med. Hosp. Infant. Mex. [online]. 2010, vol.67, n.2, pp. 88-97. ISSN 1665-1146.
Obesity is a major problem worldwide whose prevalence is increasing rapidly, with characteristics of a pandemic. In recent years it has become clear that obese patients present a low-grade chronic inflammation as a result of increased fat tissue and, consequently, an increased production of proinflammatory mediators by exogenous or endogenous stimuli. Fat tissue contains fibroblasts, preadipocytes, adipocytes and macrophag-es with the latter contributing to the systemic inflammatory process in the production of proinflammatory mediators. Thus, there is a highly coordinated intimate association between inflammatory and metabolic pathways, highlighting the overlap between the functions of macrophages and adipocytes in obesity. Elucidating the links between obesity and inflammation is of primordial importance within the field of molecular biology of obesity, which implies the recognition of adipokines, molecules synthesized by adipocytes, which may lead to the discovery of new therapeutic targets related to metabolism and immunity. This may open the possibility to halt the development of inflammatory processes leading to degenerative diseases.
Palabras llave : obesity; inflammation; cytokines; adipokines; immunity; degenerative diseases.