Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 53–61

Update on the Role of Adipokines in Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Diseases

Diabetes and Insulin Resistance (JB Meigs and M Rutter, Section Editors)


Adipose tissue is now considered an active hormone-secreting organ that produces a number of biologically active proteins called adipokines. “Classic” adipokines were discovered more than a decade ago; leptin was initially described as a satiety signal limiting food intake in animal models, whereas adiponectin is suspected to play a role in promoting insulin sensitivity. As adiposity increases, macrophages may infiltrate the adipose tissue. These macrophages are a source of many cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, resistin, retinol binding protein-4) that are suspected to participate in low-grade proinflammatory processes leading to metabolic disorders, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular diseases. New adipokines, such as visfatin, vaspin and apelin, have recently been discovered but their exact roles are still unknown. This review focuses on recent updates regarding the contribution of adipokines in atherosclerosis or cardiovascular diseases.


Adipokines Adiponectin Leptin Resistin Tumor necrosis factor alpha Interleukin 6 Retinol binding protein 4 Visfatin Vaspin Apelin Adipose tissue Macrophages Inflammation Insulin resistance Obesity Diabetes Cardiovascular risk Coronary heart diseases Stroke Metabolic syndrome 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.General Medicine DivisionMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Endocrinology, Department of MedicineUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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