Adipokines and Obesity. Potential Link to Metabolic Disorders and Chronic Complications

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 May 18;21(10):3570. doi: 10.3390/ijms21103570.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized obesity as one of the top ten threats to human health. It is estimated that the number of obese and overweight people worldwide exceeds the number of those who are undernourished. Obesity is not only a state of abnormally increased adipose tissue in the body, but also of increased release of biologically active adipokines. Adipokines released into the circulating blood, due to their specific receptors on the surface of target cells, act as classic hormones affecting the metabolism of tissues and organs. What is more, adipokines and cytokines may decrease the insulin sensitivity of tissues and induce inflammation and development of chronic complications. Certainly, it can be stated that in an era of a global obesity pandemic, adipokines may gain more and more importance as regards their use in the diagnostic evaluation and treatment of diseases. An extensive search for materials on the role of white, brown and perivascular fatty tissue and obesity-related metabolic and chronic complications was conducted online using PubMed, the Cochrane database and Embase.

Keywords: adipokines; diabetic foot; inflammation; metabolic disorders; obesity; psoriasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adipokines / physiology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolic Diseases
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism*


  • Adipokines