Adipokines and insulin resistance

Mol Med. Nov-Dec 2008;14(11-12):741-51. doi: 10.2119/2008-00058.Rabe. Epub 2008 Sep 17.


Obesity is associated with an array of health problems in adult and pediatric populations. Understanding the pathogenesis of obesity and its metabolic sequelae has advanced rapidly over the past decades. Adipose tissue represents an active endocrine organ that, in addition to regulating fat mass and nutrient homeostasis, releases a large number of bioactive mediators (adipokines) that signal to organs of metabolic importance including brain, liver, skeletal muscle, and the immune system--thereby modulating hemostasis, blood pressure, lipid and glucose metabolism, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. In the present review, we summarize current data on the effect of the adipose tissue-derived hormones adiponectin, chemerin, leptin, omentin, resistin, retinol binding protein 4, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6, vaspin, and visfatin on insulin resistance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adipokines / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / physiology
  • Resistin / metabolism
  • Resistin / physiology
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma / metabolism
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma / physiology


  • Adipokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leptin
  • Resistin
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase