Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Apr 10;6:115.
doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00115. eCollection 2015.

Apelin and Energy Metabolism

Free PMC article

Apelin and Energy Metabolism

Chantal Bertrand et al. Front Physiol. .
Free PMC article


A wide range of adipokines identified over the past years has allowed considering the white adipose tissue as a secretory organ closely integrated into overall physiological and metabolic control. Apelin, a ubiquitously expressed peptide was known to exert different physiological effects mainly on the cardiovascular system and the regulation of fluid homeostasis prior to its characterization as an adipokine. This has broadened its range of action and apelin now appears clearly as a new player in energy metabolism in addition to leptin and adiponectin. Apelin has been shown to act on glucose and lipid metabolism but also to modulate insulin secretion. Moreover, different studies in both animals and humans have shown that plasma apelin concentrations are usually increased during obesity and type 2 diabetes. This mini-review will focus on the various systemic apelin effects on energy metabolism by addressing its mechanisms of action. The advances concerning the role of apelin in metabolic diseases in relation with the recent reports on apelin concentrations in obese and/or diabetic subjects will also be discussed.

Keywords: adipokine; apelin; insulin sensitivity; obesity; type 2 diabetes.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Metabolic effects of apelin and its main signaling targets. Apelin, the ligand of the G protein coupled receptor APJ, can stimulate several metabolic functions (green arrows/boxes) and inhibit (orange arrows/boxes) lipolysis as well as insulin secretion through different signaling pathways: PDE3B, phosphodiesterase 3B; AMPK, AMP-activated protein kinase; PGC1-α, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α; eNOS, endothelial NO synthase; PI3K, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 42 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Alexiadou K., Kokkinos A., Liatis S., Perrea D., Katsilambros N., Tentolouris N. (2012). Differences in plasma apelin and visfatin levels between patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and healthy subjects and response after acute hyperglycemia and insulin administration. Hormones (Athens) 11, 444–450. 10.14310/horm.2002.1376 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Alfarano C., Foussal C., Lairez O., Calise D., Attane C., Anesia R., et al. . (2015). Transition from metabolic adaptation to maladaptation of the heart in obesity: role of apelin. Int. J. Obes. (Lond.) 39, 312–320. 10.1038/ijo.2014.122 - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Attane C., Daviaud D., Dray C., Dusaulcy R., Masseboeuf M., Prevot D., et al. . (2011). Apelin stimulates glucose uptake but not lipolysis in human adipose tissue ex vivo. J. Mol. Endocrinol. 46, 21–28. 10.1677/JME-10-0105 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Attane C., Foussal C., Le Gonidec S., Benani A., Daviaud D., Wanecq E., et al. . (2012). Apelin treatment increases complete Fatty Acid oxidation, mitochondrial oxidative capacity, and biogenesis in muscle of insulin-resistant mice. Diabetes 61, 310–320. 10.2337/db11-0100 - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Azizi M., Iturrioz X., Blanchard A., Peyrard S., De Mota N., Chartrel N., et al. . (2008). Reciprocal regulation of plasma apelin and vasopressin by osmotic stimuli. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 19, 1015–1024. 10.1681/ASN.2007070816 - DOI - PMC - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources