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Biomedical Reviews

Adipotoxicology of obesity and related diseases

Stanislav Yanev, George N. Chaldakov


The human genome project's big promise was that it could improve our understanding of the pathogenesis and therapy of diseases. However, the genes have been found to account for only about 10% of diseases, and the remaining causes appear to be from environmental exposures, hence the exposure science (exposome concept) emerges. Indeed, Homo sapiens is exposed to an overwhelming number of chemical contaminants circulating every day in the air, water, food, and general environment. The body is a well-equipped entity with capabilities to excrete water-soluble pollutants, but not as well-equipped to excrete some of the lipid-soluble xenobiotics. Here we present data that adipose tissue may be an important participant in the environmental molecular toxicology. Numerous evidence demonstrates that the exposure to persistent organic pollutants may contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity and its related diseases. Noteworthy, these pollutants accumulate mainly in the adipose tissue. And xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochromes p450 (CYP) are expressed in adipose tissue, where CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 can bioactivate carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and xenoestrogens. Altogether, the present review highlights an adipocentric approach in molecular toxicology. It is conceptualized as adipotoxicology, that is, the study of accumulation, metabolism, and release of xenobiotics in adipose tissue in health and disease.

Biomedical Reviews 2012; 23: 53-60.

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About The Authors

Stanislav Yanev
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

George N. Chaldakov
Medical University of Varna

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