, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 10-21
Date: 29 Sep 2012

Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein: a novel adipokine involved in the pathogenesis of metabolic and vascular disease?


Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (AFABP, also known as aP2 and FABP4) has recently been introduced as a novel fat-derived circulating protein. AFABP serum concentrations are positively correlated with markers of the metabolic syndrome and vascular disease in various cross-sectional and interventional studies. Furthermore, a small set of prospective studies indicates that high AFABP serum levels at baseline predict the risk for metabolic and vascular morbidity and mortality. Studies in Afabp (also known as Fabp4) knockout mice and AFABP inhibitor-treated animals suggest that total AFABP promotes insulin resistance, hypertriacylglycerolaemia and atherosclerosis by ligand/ligand delivery, as well as ligand-independent mechanisms. In contrast, the pathophysiological significance of circulating AFABP and the mechanisms leading to its release remain to be established. The current review summarises recent findings on the regulation and potential role of AFABP in metabolic and vascular disease.