Indexed on: 27 Jan '11Published on: 27 Jan '11Published in: Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase is the rate-limiting enzyme that catalyzes the first step in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide from nicotinamide. This protein was originally cloned as a putative pre-B cell colony-enhancing factor and also found to be a visceral fat-derived adipokine (visfatin). As a multifunctional protein, visfatin plays an important role in immunity, metabolism, aging, inflammation, and responses to stress. Visfatin also participates in several pathophysiological processes contributing to cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke. However, whether visfatin is a friend or a foe in these diseases remains uncertain. This brief review focuses on the current understanding of the complex role of visfatin in the cardio-cerebro-vascular system under normal and pathophysiological conditions.