Journal of Biomedical Science

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 565–576 | Cite as

Adiponectin: a biomarker of obesity-induced insulin resistance in adipose tissue and beyond

  • Jin-Ying Lu
  • Kuo-Chin Huang
  • Lin-Chau Chang
  • Ying-Shing Huang
  • Yu-Chiao Chi
  • Ta-Chan Su
  • Chi-Ling Chen
  • Wei-Shiung YangEmail author


Adiponectin is one of the most thoroughly studied adipocytokines. Low plasma levels of adiponectin are found to associate with obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and many other human diseases. From animal experiments and human studies, adiponectin has been shown to be a key regulator of insulin sensitivity. In this article, we review the evidence and propose that hypo-adiponectinemia is not a major cause of obesity. Instead, it is the result of obesity-induced insulin resistance in the adipose tissue. Hypo-adiponectinemia then mediates the metabolic effects of obesity on the other peripheral tissues, such as liver and skeletal muscle and may also exert some direct effects on end-organ damage. We propose that deciphering the molecular details governing the adiponectin gene expression and protein secretion will lead us to more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of insulin resistance in the adipose tissue and provide us new avenues for the therapeutic intervention of obesity and insulin resistance-related human disorders


Adiponectin Obesity Insulin resistance Adipcytokines Metabolic syndrome 



Diabetes mellitus


Metabolic syndrome


Tumor necrosis factor








AMP-activated protein kinase


Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor




Human immunodeficiency virus




Carbon tetrachloride


Transforming growth factor


Coronary artery disease


Polycystic ovary syndrome


Bone mineral density


PPAR response element


Mammalian target of rapamycin




Protein kinase C


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Copyright information

© National Science Council Taipei 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Ying Lu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kuo-Chin Huang
    • 4
  • Lin-Chau Chang
    • 3
  • Ying-Shing Huang
    • 3
  • Yu-Chiao Chi
    • 3
  • Ta-Chan Su
    • 2
  • Chi-Ling Chen
    • 3
  • Wei-Shiung Yang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory MedicineNational Taiwan University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineNational Taiwan University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of MedicineNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineNational Taiwan University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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