Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, reportedly suppresses the production of TNF-alpha and IL-6 by LPS-stimulated human or porcine macrophages, and the phagocytosis of microbeads by human macrophages. In this study, we used a high molecular weight form of adiponectin purified from human plasma to examine its effects on the phagocytosis of late apoptotic cells by human macrophages and the subsequent IL-8 production. Adiponectin suppressed both the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and the IL-8 production. In contrast, adiponectin augmented both the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and the IL-8 production in the presence of LPS. These results suggest that adiponectin is not an anti-inflammatory hormone but rather a dual modulator of innate responses.