The emerging role of adipokines in osteoarthritis: a narrative review

Mol Biol Rep. 2011 Feb;38(2):873-8. doi: 10.1007/s11033-010-0179-y. Epub 2010 May 18.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a most common multifactorial degenerative joint disease in elderly individuals. OA is affecting severely the quality of life of patients, while the causes of OA are not completely understood. Age, obesity, the female sex, and previous injury are considered as significant risk factors. Recently, increased levels of adipokines which are mainly produced by adipocytes have been detected in patients with osteoarthritis. Moreover, studies on different adipokines all reveal that they have played proinflammatory and catabolic/anabolic roles during the pathophysiology of OA. In the present review, we summarize current data on the effect of the adipose tissue-derived hormones leptin, adiponectin, resistin and visfatin on initiation and progression of OA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism*
  • Resistin / metabolism
  • Risk Factors


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Resistin
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase