Along with its capacity to store energy, the white adipose tissue is a source of cytokines, called “adipocytokines” or “adipokines”, acting by paracrine, autocrine and systemic pathways. However, it is noteworthy that the source of these adipokines in physiological and/or pathological conditions is not restricted to the adipose tissue. The modulation of immunological and inflammatory pathways by adipokines has been extensively studied in the last ten years. This systematic literature review focuses on the role of leptin, adiponectin, resistin and visfatin in arthritis. Although their roles need to be clarified, these adipokines will soon be pivotal to the diagnosis, the prognosis and the pharmacological approaches of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Pierre&Marie Curie University, UR4, 7 quai St., Bernard, 75252 Paris Cedex, France.