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Open AccessReview

Molecular Relationships among Obesity, Inflammation and Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Are Adipokines the Common Link?

1
SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude) and IDIS (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago), The NEIRID Group (Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Building C, Travesía da Choupana S/N, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2
SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Division of Rheumatology, Travesía da Choupana S/N, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Epidemiology, Genetics and Atherosclerosis Research Group on Systemic Inflammatory Diseases, Universidad de Cantabria and IDIVAL, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Av. Valdecilla, 39008 Santander, Spain
4
Musculoskeletal Pathology Group. SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude) and IDIS (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago), Research Laboratory 9, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
5
Molecular and Cellular Cardiology Group, SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude) and IDIS (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago), Research Laboratory 7, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082030
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is a chronic, expensive, and high-incidence musculoskeletal disorder largely responsible for back/neck and radicular-related pain. It is characterized by progressive degenerative damage of intervertebral tissues along with metabolic alterations of all other vertebral tissues. Despite the high socio-economic impact of IVDD, little is known about its etiology and pathogenesis, and currently, no cure or specific treatments are available. Recent evidence indicates that besides abnormal and excessive mechanical loading, inflammation may be a crucial player in IVDD. Furthermore, obese adipose tissue is characterized by a persistent and low-grade production of systemic pro-inflammatory factors. In this context, chronic low-grade inflammation associated with obesity has been hypothesized as an important contributor to IVDD through different, but still unknown, mechanisms. Adipokines, such as leptin, produced prevalently by white adipose tissues, but also by other cells of mesenchymal origin, particularly cartilage and bone, are cytokine-like hormones involved in important physiologic and pathophysiological processes. Although initially restricted to metabolic functions, adipokines are now viewed as key players of the innate and adaptative immune system and active modulators of the acute and chronic inflammatory response. The goal of this review is to summarize the most recent findings regarding the interrelationships among inflammation, obesity and the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the IVDD, with particular emphasis on the contribution of adipokines and their potential as future therapeutic targets. View Full-Text
Keywords: adipokines; adiponectin; adipose tissue; annulus fibrosus; immune system; intervertebral disc degeneration; leptin; metabolism; nucleus pulposus; obesity adipokines; adiponectin; adipose tissue; annulus fibrosus; immune system; intervertebral disc degeneration; leptin; metabolism; nucleus pulposus; obesity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruiz-Fernández, C.; Francisco, V.; Pino, J.; Mera, A.; González-Gay, M.A.; Gómez, R.; Lago, F.; Gualillo, O. Molecular Relationships among Obesity, Inflammation and Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Are Adipokines the Common Link? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2030.

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