Adiponectin and Metabolic SyndromeYuji Matsuzawa, Tohru Funahashi, Shinji Kihara, Iichiro Shimomura
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
In this review article, the crucial roles of adipocytes in the development of so-called metabolic syndrome and vascular disease are reviewed, focusing on adipocyte-derived bioactive substances, adipocytokines. Recent progress in adipocyte biology shows that adipocytes are not merely energy-storing cells but that they secrete a variety of hormones cytokines, growth factors, and other bioactive substances. To search for novel adipocytokines by the large-scale random sequence analysis of expressed genes in adipocytes, we identified an adipose-specific collagen-like molecule, adiponectin. This novel adipocytokine has plural biofunctions, such as antidiabetic, antiatherosclerotic, and antiinflammatory functions. Adiponectin plasma levels decrease with the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue. In this review, we discuss the link of adiponectin to visceral adiposity, insulin resistance, and vascular diseases.