Glucocorticoid effects on adiponectin expression

Vitam Horm. 2012:90:163-86. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-398313-8.00007-5.


Maintenance of energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis is achieved by the regulatory effects of many hormones and their interactions. Glucocorticoids produced from adrenal cortex and adiponectin produced by adipose tissue play important roles in the production, distribution, storage, and utilization of energy substrates. Glucocorticoids are involved in the activation of a number of catabolic processes by affecting the expression of a plethora of genes, while adiponectin acts primarily as an insulin sensitizer. Both are regulated by a number of physiological and pharmacological factors. Although the effects of glucocorticoids on adiponectin expression have been extensively studied in different in vitro, animal and clinical study settings, no consensus has been reached. This report reviews the primary literature concerning the effects of glucocorticoids on adiponectin expression and identifies potential reasons for the contradictory results between different studies. In addition, methods to gain better insights pertaining to the regulation of adiponectin expression are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / genetics*
  • Adiponectin / pharmacology
  • Adrenalectomy
  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal


  • Adiponectin
  • Glucocorticoids