Dual roles of adiponectin/Acrp30 in vivo as an anti-diabetic and anti-atherogenic adipokine

Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2003 Dec;3(4):243-54. doi: 10.2174/1568008033340090.


Genome-wide scanning is a powerful tool to identify susceptible chromosome loci, however, individual chromosomal regions still have many candidate genes. Although cDNA microarray analysis provides valuable information for identifying genes involved in pathogenesis, expression levels of many genes are changed. A novel approach for identification of therapeutic targets is the combination of genome-wide scanning and the use of DNA chips, as shown in Fig. (1). Using DNA chips, we screened for secreted molecules, the expressions of which were changed in adipose tissues from mice rendered insulin resistance. Decreased expression of one of these molecules, adiponectin/Acrp30, correlates strongly with insulin resistance. Interestingly, recent genome-wide scans have mapped a susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome to chromosome 3q27, where adiponectin gene is located. Decreasing serum adiponectin levels are associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, adiponectin was decreased in insulin resistant rodent models both of obesity and lipoatrophy, and replenishment of adiponectin ameliorated their insulin resistance. Moreover, adiponectin transgenic mice ameliorated insulin resistance and diabetes Adiponectin knockout mice showed insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. In muscle and liver, adiponectin activated AMP kinase and PPARalpha pathways thereby increasing beta-oxidation of lipids, leading to decreased TG content, which ameliorated insulin resistance under a high-fat diet. Despite similar plasma glucose and lipid levels on an apoE deficient background, adiponectin transgenic apoE deficient mice showed amelioration of atherosclerosis, which was associated with decreased expressions of class A scavenger receptor and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Finally, cDNA encoding adiponectin receptors (AdipoR1 and R2) have been identified by expression cloning, which facilitates the understanding of molecular mechanisms of adiponectin actions and obesity-linked diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis and the designing of novel antidiabetic and anti-atherogenic drugs with AdipoR1 and R2 as molecular targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin
  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / genetics
  • Arteriosclerosis / metabolism
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / physiology*
  • Proteins / therapeutic use*


  • Adiponectin
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins