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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2010, Article ID 610479, 7 pages
Review Article

Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor: Critical Role in Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Associated Comorbidities

1Department of Biosciences, Gaubius Laboratory, TNO-Quality of Life, Zernikedreef 9, 2301 CE Leiden, The Netherlands
2Department of Medicine and Pathology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

Received 23 November 2009; Accepted 7 January 2010

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2010 Robert Kleemann and Richard Bucala. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity is associated with insulin resistance, disturbed glucose homeostasis, low grade inflammation, and comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an ubiquitously expressed protein that plays a crucial role in many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that MIF also controls metabolic and inflammatory processes underlying the development of metabolic pathologies associated with obesity. This is a comprehensive summary of our current knowledge on the role of MIF in obesity and obesity-associated comorbidities, based on human clinical data as well as animal models of disease.