Adipocyte-derived hormones, cytokines, and mediators

Endocrine. 2006 Feb;29(1):81-90. doi: 10.1385/endo:29:1:81.


Adipose tissue is responsive to both central and peripheral metabolic signals and is itself capable of secreting a number of proteins. These adipocyte-specific or enriched proteins, termed adipokines, have been shown to have a variety of local, peripheral, and central effects. These secreted proteins, which include tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, resistin, IL-6, IL-8, acylation-stimulating protein (ASP), angiotensinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) ("bad" adipokines) and leptin, adiponectin ("good" adipokines) seem to play important regulatory roles in a variety of complex processes, including fat metabolism, feeding behavior, hemostasis, vascular tone, energy balance, and insulin sensitivity, but none is without controversy regarding its respective mechanism and scope of action. The present review is focused on the effects of free fatty acids and a restricted number of adipokines, which have been implicated in vascular (angiotensinogen, PAI-1) and energy and glucose homeostasis (ASP, TNFalpha, IL-6, resistin, leptin, adiponectin).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adiponectin / physiology*
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / physiology
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / physiology*
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Peptide Hormones / physiology*
  • Resistin / physiology


  • Adiponectin
  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Resistin
  • Glucose