Adiponectin: Probe of the molecular paradigm associating diabetes and obesity

World J Diabetes. 2015 Feb 15;6(1):151-66. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i1.151.


Type 2 diabetes is an emerging health challenge all over the world as a result of urbanization, high prevalence of obesity, sedentary lifestyle and other stress related factors compounded with the genetic prevalence. The health consequences and economic burden of the obesity and related diabetes mellitus epidemic are enormous. Different signaling molecules secreted by adipocytes have been implicated in the development of obesity and associated insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Human adiponectin, a 244-amino acid collagen-like protein is solely secreted by adipocytes and acts as a hormone with anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing properties. Adiponectin secretion, in contrast to secretion of other adipokines, is paradoxically decreased in obesity which may be attributable to inhibition of adiponectin gene transcription. There are several mechanisms through which adiponectin may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, including suppression of hepatic gluconeogenesis, stimulation of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, stimulation of fatty acid oxidation and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, and stimulation of insulin secretion. To date, no systematic review has been conducted that evaluate the potential importance of adiponectin metabolism in insulin resistance. In this review attempt has been made to explore the relevance of adiponectin metabolism for the development of diabetes mellitus. This article also identifies this novel target for prospective therapeutic research aiming successful management of diabetes mellitus.

Keywords: Adiponectin; Dyslipidemia; Insulin resistance; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Review