The emerging role of adipokines as mediators of inflammation and immune responses

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2007 Jun-Aug;18(3-4):313-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2007.04.007. Epub 2007 May 15.


Interest in the biology of white adipose tissue (WAT) has increased dramatically since the discovery of leptin in 1994. The identification of the product of the gene obese (ob) threw light on the role of adipose tissue in the physiopathology of obesity-related diseases, and spurred the identification of numerous other adipokines, many of a pro-inflammatory nature. It has become increasingly evident that WAT-derived cytokines mediate between obesity-related exogenous factors (nutrition and lifestyle) and the molecular events that lead to metabolic syndrome and inflammatory and/or autoimmune conditions. Here, we review recent adipokine research, with particular attention to the roles of leptin, adiponectin, resistin, visfatin, apelin, vaspin and hepcidin in such conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / metabolism
  • Apelin
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Hepcidins
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism
  • Inflammation*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • Peptide Hormones / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • Serpins / metabolism


  • APLN protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Apelin
  • Cytokines
  • HAMP protein, human
  • Hepcidins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • SERPINA12 protein, human
  • Serpins
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, human