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Eur J Nutr. 2012 Aug;51(5):513-28. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0370-0. Epub 2012 May 15.

The role of adipokines in connective tissue diseases.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Medyków 18, 40-752, Katowice, Poland.



To discuss the relationship between adipokines and connective tissue diseases, by putting special emphasis on the potential role of leptin, adiponectin, resistin, and other adipose tissue products in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus and on possible application of adipokine-targeted therapy in the treatment of these disorders with emphasis on the recent findings.


PubMed literature search complemented by review of bibliographies listed in identified articles.


Most of the data presented by different research groups showed changed levels of leptin, adiponectin, and resistin and occasionally also other adipokines in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The relationship between the remaining connective tissue diseases and adipokines is less documented.


Plasma levels of adipokines might tell us too little about their role in connective tissue disorders, whereas adipokine effects on synovial tissues might differ from their known metabolic or cardiovascular effects, which implies that some re-appraisal of adipokines role may need to take place. It still remains obscure whether the observed disturbances in various adipokine systems in subjects with connective tissue diseases contribute to their development or only reflect the presence or activity of inflammatory process, which itself is induced by other pro-inflammatory factors.

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