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Korean J Obes 2013; 22(1): 1-6

Published online March 30, 2013

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Adipokines as a Mediator for Obesity-related Disorders

Hye Jin Yoo, Kyung Mook Choi*

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Adipose tissue which used to be simply known as a storage of surplus energy is now perceived as an
independent and active endocrine organ, and various kinds of adipokine such as leptin (a protein secreted by fat cells), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), resistin, and adiponectin make major effects on obesity related metabolic diseases by controlling fat metabolism, energy homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. As the hormone called leptin was discovered at fat cells in 1994, it was started to study fat tissues as endocrine organs. Fat cells are engaged in complicated cell function coordination through signaling network of autonomic secretion system by secreting various kinds of adipokine, and are known to make effects on various organizations such as hypophyseal, pancreas, liver, muscle, vascular endothelium, and immune system. In obese patients, the secretion and coordination of such adipokines are biased abnormally and the secretion of specific adipokine becomes increased or decreased. Accordingly, to discover new adipokines and define their functions may enable us to find a new treatment strategy for metabolic disorders related to obesity.

Keywords: Adipokines, Obesity, Leptin, Adiponectin

Fig. 1. The changes of adipokines in obesity.
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