Adiponectin in health and diseases: from metabolic syndrome to tissue regeneration

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2010 Feb;14(2):193-206. doi: 10.1517/14728220903530712.


Importance of the field: Adiponectin's importance as a regulator of metabolic functions has been assessed after observation of its downregulation in obese and diabetic patients. Decreased plasma adiponectin has been correlated with the onset of metabolic syndrome. Adiponectin has been proposed as an anti-inflammatory factor involved in protection of microvascular endothelium from inflammation insults.

Areas covered in this review: The pleiotropic role of adiponectin in health and disease, with the double aim of describing the complex network of molecules engaged in its signaling in different tissues and underlining the gaps in the available data which need further investigation.

What the reader will gain: Recent studies suggest that adiponectin can act as a paracrine/autocrine factor during tissue regeneration as it is a stem cell factor in hematopoiesis and vasculogenesis, as well as in bone, liver and muscle regeneration. This review underlines the new findings on adiponectin in tissue regeneration, particularly skeletal muscle regeneration.

Take home message: The most recent findings suggest that adiponectin plays a role that goes beyond its well-known metabolic function. Indeed, this adipokine behaves as a stem factor for several tissues, giving a new perspective for its use as a tool for cell-based therapy of diseased/injured tissues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Kinase / physiology
  • Adiponectin / chemistry
  • Adiponectin / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Regeneration*
  • Signal Transduction
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology


  • Adiponectin
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Adenylate Kinase