Obesity, adipokines and neuroinflammation

Neuropharmacology. 2015 Sep;96(Pt A):124-34. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.12.023. Epub 2015 Jan 10.


Global levels of obesity are reaching epidemic proportions, leading to a dramatic increase in incidence of secondary diseases and the significant economic burden associated with their treatment. These comorbidities include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some psychopathologies, which have been linked to a low-grade inflammatory state. Obese individuals exhibit an increase in circulating inflammatory mediators implicated as the underlying cause of these comorbidities. A number of these molecules are also manufactured and released by white adipose tissue (WAT), in direct proportion to tissue mass and are collectively known as adipokines. In the current review we focused on the role of two of the better-studied members of this family namely, leptin and adiponectin, with particular emphasis on their role in neuro-immune interactions, neuroinflammation and subsequent brain diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'.

Keywords: Adiponectin; Cytokines; Inflammation; Leptin; Neuroimmune-interactions; Neutrophil granulocytes; Psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood
  • Adipokines / immunology
  • Adipokines / physiology*
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiponectin / physiology
  • Animals
  • Encephalitis / complications*
  • Encephalitis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / immunology


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin