ISSN: 2161-1149 (Printed)
The global epidemic of obesity and its strong association to Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Diseases (ASCVD), including coronary heart disease, has lead to extensive research into the causes of obesity mediated ASCVD. Currently, there is a great deal of interest on the role of adipose tissue derived adipokines as obesity induced ASCVD risk factors. The present review focuses on the current state of knowledge of the recently discovered adipokine, resistin, and the role of resistin as an emerging ASCVD risk factor. Studies investigating the relationship between elevated serum resistin levels, which is characteristic of obese individuals, and atherosclerosis progression and clinical ASCVD events are discussed. Investigations on the actions of resistin as a direct cellular mediator of pro-atherosclerotic processes in the arterial wall are summarized. We further examine the evidence for resistin in inducing the atherogenic dyslipidemia, a major ASCVD risk factor in obesity. The novel role of human resistin in stimulating hepatic dysregulation of Low- Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and Very-Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) metabolism, two key pro-atherogenic components of the atherogenic dyslipidemia are featured. The important therapeutic implications of the pathophysiological effects of human resistin on LDL and VLDL metabolism are delineated. Finally, the overall potential of resistin as an ASCVD risk factor and therapeutic target in mitigating ASCVD in human obesity is examined.