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Am J Cardiovasc Dis. 2012;2(4):253-66. Epub 2012 Oct 20.

The cardio-protective signaling and mechanisms of adiponectin.

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Department of Pharmacal Sciences, Harrison School of Pharmacy, the PPAR & Metabolic Research, Lab, Auburn University Auburn, Alabama, USA.


Adiponectin is an endogenous insulin-sensitizing hormone which has been found to regulate energy metabolism throughout the body, including the heart. However, low levels of adiponectin are found in patients with diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Thus it has been suggested to be an independent predictor for cardiovascular risk. Paradoxically, recent studies have also determined that adiponectin has cardioprotective effects against various cardiac related pathologies which lead to heart failure. These cardioprotective effects of adiponectin are attributed to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic properties. Further findings suggest that locally produced adiponectin in cardiomyocytes are functional and biologically significant. This ectopic derived adiponectin exerts its protective effects through an autocrine mechanism. These data suggest adiponectin may serve as a potential therapeutic target against the development of pathologies which develop into heart failure. The current manuscript has summarized the key findings to date which explore the cardioprotective mechanisms of adiponectin against various cardiac pathologies. Further we explore the roles of both circulating and endogenous heart specific adiponectin and their physiological importance in various heart diseases.


Adiponectin; diabetes; diabetic cardiomyopathy; ischemia reperfusion; myocardial infarction

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