Insulin resistance is a main feature of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Several mechanisms linking obesity to insulin resistance have been proposed. Adipose tissue modulates metabolism by secreting a variety of factors, which exhibit altered production during obesity. Apelin, a small peptide present in a number of tissues and also produced and secreted by adipocytes, has emerged as a new player with potent functions in energy metabolism, and in insulin sensitivity improvement. In this review, we describe the various metabolic functions that are affected by apelin and we present an integrated overview of recent findings that collectively propose apelin as a promising target for the treatment of T2DM.
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