Visceral fat accumulation has been shown to play crucial roles in the development of cardiovascular disease as well as the development of obesity-related disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and hypertension and the so-called metabolic syndrome. Given these clinical findings, adipocytes functions have been intensively investigated in the past 10 years, and have been revealed to act as endocrine cells that have been termed adipocytokines, which secrete various bioactive substances. Among adipocytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and heparin binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor are produced in adipocytes as well as other organs, and may contribute to the development of vascular diseases. Visfatin has been identified as a visceral-fat-specific protein that might be involved in the development of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. On the contrary to these adipocytokines, adiponectin, an adipose-tissue-specific, collagen-like protein, has been noted as an important antiatherogenic and antidiabetic protein, or as an anti-inflammatory protein. The functions of adipocytokine secretion might be regulated dynamically by nutritional state. Visceral fat accumulation causes dysregulation of adipocyte functions, including oversecretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and heparin binding epidermal growth factor-like growth and hyposecretion of adiponectin, which results in the development of a variety of metabolic and circulatory diseases. In this review, the importance of adipocytokines, especially focusing on adiponectin is discussed with respect to cardiovascular diseases.