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FEBS Lett. 2008 Jan 9;582(1):74-80. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

The physiological and pathophysiological role of adiponectin and adiponectin receptors in the peripheral tissues and CNS.

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Department of Metabolic Diseases, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Adiponectin is an abundantly expressed adipokine in adipose tissue and has direct insulin sensitizing activity. A decrease in the circulating levels of adiponectin by interactions between genetic factors and environmental factors causing obesity has been shown to contribute to the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. In addition to its insulin sensitizing actions, adiponectin has central actions in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Adiponectin enhances AMP-activated protein kinase activity in the arcuate hypothalamus via its receptor AdipoR1 to stimulate food intake and decreases energy expenditure. We propose a hypothesis on the physiological role of adiponectin: a starvation gene in the course of evolution by promoting fat storage on facing the loss of adiposity.

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