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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014. Adipocytes are highly specialized cells that play a major role in energy homeostasis in vertebrate organisms. Excess adipocyte size or number is a hallmark of obesity, which is currently a global epidemic. Obesity is not only the primary disease of fat cells, but also a major risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Today, adipocytes and adipose tissue are no longer considered passive participants in metabolic pathways. In addition to storing lipid, adipocytes are highly insulin sensitive cells that have important endocrine functions. Altering any one of these functions of fat cells can result in a metabolic disease state and dysregulation of adipose tissue can profoundly contribute to MetS. For example, adiponectin is a fat specific hormone that has cardio-protective and anti-diabetic properties. Inhibition of adiponectin expression and secretion are associated with several risk factors for MetS. For this purpose, and several other reasons documented in this chapter, we propose that adipose tissue should be considered as a viable target for a variety of treatment approaches to combat MetS.

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A Systems Biology Approach to Study Metabolic Syndrome

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