Adiponectin is an abundant plasma protein secreted from adipocytes. Its role in energy homeostasis is well-known, including the regulation of hydrocarbons and lipids metabolism as well as the improvement of insulin resistance. It has been thought to be a key molecule in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, which are epidemiological targets for preventing cardiovascular disease. In addition to beneficial metabolic effects, adiponectin seems to have anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and vasoprotective actions. Furthermore, adiponectin affects signalling in myocardial cells and exerts beneficial actions on the heart after pressure overload and ischemia-reperfusion injury. The ability of adiponectin to reduce insulin resistance in conjunction with its antiinflammatory and cardioprotective properties makes this adipocytokine a promising therapeutic target. On clinical interest, agents that enhance endogenous adiponectin production or action have potential for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Management strategies that increase adiponectin levels include weight reduction, Mediterranean diet, thiazolidinediones, antihypertensive and lipid lowering drugs. Current knowledge on the main actions of adiponectin and therapeutic approaches for cardiovascular disease is summarized in this review.
Keywords: Adiponectin, atherosclerosis, biomarkers, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, endothelial function, insulin resistance, inflammation, metformin, thiazolidinediones
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