Adiponectin is the most abundant peptide secreted by adipocytes, which has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and decrease plasma glucose by increasing tissue fat oxidation. Adiponectin’s reduction in serum plays a central role in obesity-related diseases, including insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What is very much of interest is that low adiponectin serum levels predict type 2 diabetes independent of other risk factors. Adiponectin also inhibits the inflammatory processes of atherosclerosis, by suppressing the expression of adhesion and cytokine molecules, in vascular endothelial cells and macrophages, respectively.
Moreover, high circulating levels of adiponectin are associated with decreased risk of myocardial infarction, independent of other factors. Altogether, adiponectin has the potential to become a clinically relevant parameter to be measured routinely in subjects at risk for type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome.