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The Perfect Storm: Complications of Metabolic Syndrome

The Perfect Storm
Reported by
Marilynn Larkin

Posted December 13, 2007

Presented By

Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group and the Biochemical Group of the American Chemical Society (New York Section)


As obesity has increased exponentially in the United States and globally, so, too, has metabolic syndrome (formerly known as "syndrome X"). Although definitions vary, the general consensus is that the syndrome is characterized by a constellation of factors, including prediabetes (insulin resistance/abnormal glucose metabolism) or overt diabetes; hypertension; high triglycerides; low HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol; and, of course, obesity.

At an Academy meeting on metabolic syndrome and inflammation held on October 23, 2007, speakers discussed the role of specific inflammatory cytokines and their inhibitors in insulin resistance, the case for immune cell dysregulation in metabolic syndrome, the many layers of interactions that take place among free radicals and small molecules in the "black box" that links certain cardiovascular risk factors with overt vascular disease, and the reciprocal relationships between insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction.

Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.


Alexander Banks

Banerjee A, Banks AS, Nawijn MC, et al. 2002. Cutting edge: Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 inhibits activation of NFATp. J. Immunol. 168: 4277-4281. Full Text

Banks AS, Li J, McKeag L, et al. 2005. Deletion of SOCS7 leads to enhanced insulin action and enlarged islets of Langerhans. J. Clin. Invest. 115: 2462-2671. Full Text

Bates SH, Stearns WH, Dundon TA, et al. 2003. STAT3 signalling is required for leptin regulation of energy balance but not reproduction. Nature 421: 856-859.

Kloek C, Haq AK, Dunn SL, et al. 2002. Regulation of Jak kinases by intracellular leptin receptor sequences. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 41547-41555. Full Text

Vuong BQ, Arenzana TL, Showalter BM, et al. 2004. SOCS-1 localizes to the microtubule organizing complex-associated 20S proteasome. Mol. Cell Biol. 24: 9092-9101. Full Text

Anthony Ferrante

Odegaard JI, Ricardo-Gonzalez RR, Goforth MH, et al. 2007. Macrophage-specific PPARgamma controls alternative activation and improves insulin resistance. Nature 447: 1116-1120.

Weisberg SP, Hunter D, Huber R, et al. 2006. CCR2 modulates inflammatory and metabolic effects of high-fat feeding. J. Clin. Invest. 116: 115-124. Full Text

Weisberg SP, McCann D, Desai M, et al. 2003. Obesity is associated with macrophage accumulation in adipose tissue. J. Clin. Invest. 112: 1796-1808. Full Text

Richard Cohen

Clavreul N, Bachschmid MM, Hou X, et al. 2006. S-glutathiolation of p21ras by peroxynitrite mediates endothelial insulin resistance caused by oxidized low-density lipoprotein. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 26: 2454-2461. Full Text

Sethuraman M, Clavreul N, Huang H, et al. 2007. Quantification of oxidative posttranslational modifications of cysteine thiols of p21ras associated with redox modulation of activity using isotope-coded affinity tags and mass spectrometry. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 42: 823-829.

Ying J, Clavreul N, Sethuraman M, et al. 2007. Thiol oxidation in signaling and response to stress: detection and quantification of physiological and pathophysiological thiol modifications. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 43: 1099-1108.

Ying J, Tong X, Pimentel DR, et al. 2007. Cysteine-674 of the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase is required for the inhibition of cell migration by nitric oxide. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 27: 783-790.

Zang M, Xu S, Maitland-Toolan KA, et al. 2006. Polyphenols stimulate AMP-activated protein kinase, lower lipids, and inhibit accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetic LDL receptor-deficient mice. Diabetes 55: 2180-2191. Full Text

Michael Quon

Koh KK, Quon MJ, Lee Y, et al. 2007. Additive beneficial cardiovascular and metabolic effects of combination therapy with ramipril and candesartan in hypertensive patients. Eur. Heart J. 28: 1440-1447.

Koh KK, Quon MJ, Waclawiw MA. 2007. Are statins effective for simultaneously treating dyslipidemias and hypertension? Atherosclerosis Jul 25; [Epub ahead of print]

Koh KK, Quon MJ, Rosenson RS, et al. 2007. Vascular and metabolic effects of treatment of combined hyperlipidemia: Focus on statins and fibrates. Int. J. Cardiol. Jul 19; [Epub ahead of print]

Muniyappa R, Quon MJ. 2007. Insulin action and insulin resistance in vascular endothelium. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care 10: 523-530.

Muniyappa R, Lee S, Chen H, Quon MJ. 2007. Current approaches for assessing insulin sensitivity and resistance in vivo: advantages, limitations, and appropriate usage. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. Oct 23; [Epub ahead of print]

Muniyappa R, Montagnani M, Koh KK, Quon MJ. 2007. Cardiovascular actions of insulin. Endocr. Rev. 28: 463-491. Epub 2007 May 24.


Alexander S. Banks, PhD

College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
e-mail | web site | publications

Alexander Banks is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Domenico Accili at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Banks received his PhD from Columbia University, where he worked with Paul Rothman on SOCS proteins and the mechanisms of cytokine-induced insulin resistance.

Anthony W. Ferrante, MD, PhD

Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Columbia University
e-mail | web site | publications

Anthony Ferrante is the Dorothy and Daniel Silberberg Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Preventive Medicine and Nutrition at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center. He received his MD and PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Ferrante did his residency in internal medicine and performed his postdoctoral work at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.

Richard A. Cohen, MD

Boston University School of Medicine
e-mail | web site | publications

Richard Cohen is the Jay and Louise Coffman Professor of Vascular Medicine and is a professor of medicine, physiology, pharmacology, and experimental therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine. He is also director of the Vascular Biology Unit in the Department of Medicine.

Cohen is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and of the American Association of Physicians. He is a past president of the American Federation for Medical Research, and founder of the American Federation of Medical Research Foundation. Cohen is also the recipient of numerous awards including the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award and Clinician Scientist Award. Cohen received his MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Michael J. Quon, MD, PhD

Diabetes Unit, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, NIH
e-mail | web site | publications

Michael J. Quon is the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's (NCCAM) chief of the Diabetes Unit, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, Division of Intramural Research. In 1987 he received his PhD in biomedical engineering and in 1988 completed his medical degree, both from Northwestern University.

Quon's research has led to several honors including being elected as a fellow of the American Heart Association and the Council for High Blood Pressure Research. He was recently awarded the NIH Director's Award from Mentoring (2004). Quon is also a recipient of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Mentor Award and he has received numerous awards from the ADA.

Marilynn Larkin

Marilynn Larkin is a medical editor, journalist, and videographer based in New York City. Her work has frequently appeared in, among others, The Lancet, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, and Reuters Health's professional newswire. She has served as editor of many clinical publications and is author of five medical books for general readers as well as Reporting on Health Risk, a handbook for journalists. She is currently head of publications for The Society for Biomolecular Sciences.

In 2004, Ms. Larkin started her own fitness consulting company (, and developed a class, Posture-cize, that helps people improve their posture, increase productivity, and reduce injury.