Adipokines and vascular disease in diabetes

Curr Diab Rep. 2007 Feb;7(1):25-33. doi: 10.1007/s11892-007-0006-6.


Adipokines, in particular adiponectin, have been highlighted in the pathogenesis of obesity-related illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, because of their role in the regulation of insulin sensitivity as well as vascular endothelial function. Since cardiovascular disease accounts for an overwhelming proportion of the morbidity and mortality suffered by patients with diabetes, researchers are actively seeking a better understanding of the role that adipokines play in the vasculature with the hope that the use of these agents, or activation of their signaling pathways, might help prevent micro- and macrovascular complications. This brief review highlights recent work on the vascular effects of circulating adipokines, focusing on adiponectin, and includes some recent findings with leptin and resistin. This highly active area of investigation has identified novel hormonal mechanisms by which the adipose tissue mass can influence vascular function with important consequences for cardiovascular risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Resistin / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology


  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Resistin