For a long time it has been known that obesity (adiposity) is linked to insulin resistance. Recently, many investigators have reported that adipocytes secrete a variety of bioactive molecules, termed adipokines (adipocytokines), including TNFα, IL-6, leptin, adiponectin, resistin and so on. These adipokines play pivotal roles in energy homeostasis by affecting insulin sensitivity, glucose and lipid metabolisms, food intake, the coagulation system and inflammation. This review provides a summary of these adipose tissue-secreting biomolecules and discusses their feasibilities as drug targets for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.
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