Fetuin-A (also known as-Heremans-Schmid glycoprotein) is a multifunctional molecule secreted by the liver. It is a negative acute phase reactant with a debated role in subclinical inflammation. Fetuin-A is an inhibitor of the insulin receptor and its serum level correlates with insulin resistance. The protein has been implicated in adipocyte dysfunction and it is associated with obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Although all these properties seem to promote atherosclerosis, the role of fetuin-A in cardiovascular diseases is more complex. As a natural inhibitor of tissue and vascular calcification, fetuin-A also acts as a protective factor in atherosclerosis. The potential role and prognostic value of fetuin-A in arterial calcification and cardiovascular diseases is discussed in this review, along with explanations for seemingly contradicting results in the literature and possible directions for future research. Orv. Hetil., 2014, 155(1), 16-23.
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