Adiponectin receptors: a review of their structure, function and how they work

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jan;28(1):15-23. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2013.09.003. Epub 2013 Sep 15.


The discovery of adiponectin and subsequently the receptors it acts upon have lead to a great surge forward in the understanding of the development of insulin resistance and obesity-linked diseases. Adiponectin is a hormone that is derived from adipose tissue and is reduced in obesity-linked diseases including insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Adiponectin exerts its effects by binding to adiponectin receptors, two of which, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2, have been cloned. This has enabled researchers to carry out detailed studies elucidating the role played by these receptors and the metabolic pathways that are involved following their activation. Such studies have clearly shown that the stimulation of these receptors is associated with glucose homeostasis and ongoing research into their role will clarify the underlying molecular mechanisms of adiponectin. Such knowledge can then be used to provide therapeutic targets aimed at managing obesity-linked diseases including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: AMPK; COX2; NF-kappaB; PPAR; S1P; adipokine; adiponectin; adiponectin receptors AdipoRs; aging; atherosclerosis; ceramide; energy expenditure; exercise; food intake; inflammasome; insulin resistance; longevity; metabolic syndrome; mitochondria; obesity; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Mice
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / metabolism
  • Receptors, Adiponectin* / chemistry
  • Receptors, Adiponectin* / genetics
  • Receptors, Adiponectin* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • adiponectin receptor 1, mouse
  • adiponectin receptor 2, mouse
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases