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Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Nov;101(11):2629-40. Epub 2006 Sep 4.

The evolving role of leptin and adiponectin in chronic liver diseases.

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  • 12nd Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School of Athens University, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Erratum in

  • Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Dec;101(12):2915.


Leptin and adiponectin, the main metabolic products of adipose tissue, have been implicated in a wide spectrum of human diseases. Given the frequent presence of hepatic steatosis in several chronic liver diseases, there is currently increasing interest in the role of these adipokines in the development of hepatic steatosis and also in necroinflammation and fibrosis, mostly in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or chronic hepatitis C. According to experimental data, reduced adiponectin levels and increased leptin levels associated with leptin resistance, which are usually observed in obese patients with or without metabolic syndrome, may result in fat accumulation in the liver and in the enhancement of liver inflammation and mostly fibrogenesis. Increased leptin and decreased adiponectin serum levels have been detected initially in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and more recently in patients with chronic hepatitis C compared to healthy controls in most but not all studies, while the data on the associations between these adipokine levels and the severity of hepatic steatosis or fibrosis are still rather conflicting. However, several potential confounding parameters were not evaluated in all studies. Therefore, the associations between adipokines and liver histological lesions and their effects on liver cells should be evaluated further in prospective, carefully designed studies, including larger cohorts of patients with detailed assessment of metabolic and other potential confounding factors.

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