Adiponectin: anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects

Biochimie. 2012 Oct;94(10):2143-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.06.030. Epub 2012 Jul 13.


Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ that plays an essential role in regulating several metabolic functions through the secretion of biological mediators called "adipokines". Dysregulation of adipokines plays a crucial role in obesity-related diseases. Adiponectin (APN) is the most abundant adipokine accounting for the 0.01% of total serum protein, and is involved in a wide variety of physiological processes including energy metabolism, inflammation, and vascular physiology. APN plasma levels are reduced in individuals with obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, all traits with low-grade chronic inflammation. It is has been suggested that the absence of APN anti-inflammatory effects may be a contributing factor to this inflammation. APN inhibits the expression of tumor necrosis factor-α-induced endothelial adhesion molecules, macrophage-to-foam cell transformation, tumor necrosis factor-α expression in macrophages and adipose tissue, and smooth muscle cell proliferation. It also has anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidant effects, which play a role in its cardioprotective action. This review will focus on APN as an anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic and cardioprotective plasma protein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / chemistry
  • Adiponectin / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / pathology


  • Adiponectin