Recent advance in adipocyte biology revealed that adipose tissue is a secretory organ. Such fat-derived secretory factors are now called adipocytokines, conceptually. Adipocytokines known to date include leptin, TNF-α, resistin, PAI-1, and adiponectin. Physiological production and secretion of adipocytokines maintains metabolic and vascular homeostasis, by functioning to adipocyte itself through auto- and para-crine fashions, and remote organ through blood stream. Dysregulated production of adipocytokines, too much or too little, in obesity and lipodystrophy, lead to the development of metabolic syndrome including insulin resistant diabetes and vascular disease. Restoring the plasma levels of adipocytkines have been shown to reverse such metabolic syndrome associated with obesity and lipodystrophy. Adipocytokines are now becoming a central target to tackle the metabolic syndrome.
Keywords: adipocytokine, leptin, plasminogen activator inhibitor, tumor necrosis factor, resistin, adiponectin, metabolic syndrome, visceral fat, adipo-vascular axis, lipodystrophy
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