The potential role of leptin and adiponectin in obesity: a comparative review

Vet J. 2012 Mar;191(3):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.04.009. Epub 2011 May 17.


Leptin and adiponectin are adipokines produced by the white adipose tissue. The adipokines have been shown to be valuable quantitative markers of adiposity in dogs. Leptin positively correlates with body condition score (BCS) in dogs, regardless of age, sex and breed, and is influenced by feeding state, pharmacological treatment and thyroid gland activity. Conversely, adiponectin negatively correlates with body fat mass and is therefore more abundant in lean animals. The implication of leptin and adiponectin in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome is well established in humans, but currently lacking in dogs. Additional studies are necessary to demonstrate their potential usefulness for monitoring the progression of obesity-related diseases and response to treatment. To date, measurement of canine leptin and adiponectin has been used in experimental studies only, whereas bodyweight and BCS are considered the first-approach parameters for the routine assessment of body fat content in obese dogs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Leptin / metabolism*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / veterinary*


  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin