Obesity, adipokines and hepatocellular carcinoma

Int J Cancer. 2013 Oct 15;133(8):1776-83. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28105. Epub 2013 Mar 7.


Obesity is rapidly becoming pandemic and is associated with increased carcinogenesis, especially hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Adipose tissue is considered as an endocrine organ because of its capacity to secrete a variety of adipokines, such as leptin, adiponectin and resistin. Recently, adipokines have been demonstrated to be associated with kinds of chronic liver diseases including fibrosis, cirrhosis and carcinogenesis. Direct evidence is accumulating rapidly supporting the inhibitory and/or activating role of adipokines in the process of carcinogenesis and progression of human HCC. This review aims to provide important insight into the potential mechanisms of adipokines in the development of HCC.

Keywords: adipokine; adiponectin; hepatocellular carcinoma; leptin; obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / physiopathology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Leptin / metabolism*
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms* / physiopathology
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Resistin / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Resistin