We studied the effect of exercise on circulating adipokine, high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and metabolic parameters in obese young women. Ninety-six healthy Japanese young female students aged 18-23 years were studied. The longitudinal intervention study of a 7-month exercise training program (30-60 min/day, 60-70% HR-reserve, 200-400 kcal, 4-5 days/week) was performed in eight obese female students (BMI > or =25 kg/m(2)). Eight control female students (mean BMI = 22 kg/m(2)) were included in the follow-up study. Body weight, body mass index (BMI), percentage of body fat (%Fat), body fat mass, lean body mass, health-promoting lifestyle profile-scale (L-scale), VO(2)max (maximal oxygen uptake), hs-CRP, lipids, insulin homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-R), fasting levels for circulating adiponectin, leptin, and TNF-alpha, were measured before and after the exercise program. In obese subjects, body weight, BMI, %Fat, body fat mass, lean body mass, hs-CRP, leptin, and TNF-alpha were significantly higher, and L-scale and adiponectin were lower than those in control subjects. In obese subjects, exercise decreased body weight, BMI, %Fat, body fat mass, lean body mass, hs-CRP, leptin, and TNF-alpha, and increased L-scale, VO(2)max, HDL-cho, and adiponectin. It was concluded that changes in circulating adipokine levels are involved in the improvement of the metabolic state by exercise and may be useful markers for evaluation and prescription of exercise.