White adipose tissue (WAT) is the premier energy depot. Since the discovery of the hormonal properties of adipose-secreted proteins such as leptin and adiponectin, WAT has been classified as an endocrine organ. Although many regulatory effects of the adipocyte-derived hormones on various biological systems have been identified, maintaining systemic energy homeostasis is still the essential function of most adipocyte-derived hormones. Adiponectin is one adipocyte-derived hormone and well known for its effect in improving insulin sensitivity in liver and skeletal muscle. Unlike most other adipocyte-derived hormones, adiponectin gene expression and blood concentration are inversely associated with adiposity. Interestingly, recent studies have demonstrated that, in addition to its insulin sensitizing effects, adiponectin plays an important role in maintaining energy homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the progress of research about 1) the causal relationship of adiposity, energy intake, and adiponectin gene expression; and 2) the regulatory role of adiponectin in systemic energy metabolism.