Keynote review: the adipocyte as a drug discovery target

Drug Discov Today. 2005 Sep 15;10(18):1219-30. doi: 10.1016/S1359-6446(05)03569-5.


The adipocyte has pleiotropic functions beyond the storage of energy in times of nutrient abundance. Considerable efforts in adipocyte biology within the past ten years have emphasized the important role of adipose tissue in processes as diverse as energy metabolism, inflammation and cancer. Adipocytes are able to communicate with the brain and peripheral tissues implementing metabolic signals such as satiety, food intake and energy expenditure. Despite its huge pharmacological potential, only a small number of clinical applications interfere directly with adipocyte physiology. Here, we want to highlight various areas of adipocyte physiology that have not yet been explored pharmacologically and emphasize some of the limitations associated with these pharmacotherapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / physiology
  • Adiponectin
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Drug Design*
  • Hormones, Ectopic / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / physiology
  • Leptin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Resistin


  • Adiponectin
  • Hormones, Ectopic
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Leptin
  • RETN protein, human
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Resistin