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Curr Med Chem. 2018 Jul 13. doi: 10.2174/0929867325666180713154505. [Epub ahead of print]

The role of adipokines in the establishment and progression of head and neck neoplasms.

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First Department of Pathology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527. Greece.
Second Department of Propaedeutic Surgery, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527. Greece.


Adipokines constitute a family of protein factors secreted by white adipose tissue (WAT), that regulate the functions of WAT and other sites. Leptin, adiponectin, resistin, are the main adipokines present in serum and saliva, targeting several tissues and organs, including vessels, muscles, liver and pancreas. Besides body mass regulation, adipokines affect glucose homeostasis, inflammation, angiogenesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, and other crucial cell procedures. Their involvement in tumor formation and growth is well established and deregulation of adipokine and adipokine receptors' expression is observed in several malignancies including those located in the head and neck region. Intracellular effects of adipokines are mediated by a plethora of receptors that activate several signaling pathways including Janus kinase/ Signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/ STAT), Phospatidylinositol kinase (PI3/ Akt/ mTOR) and Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR). The present review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of adipokines family members in carcinogenesis of the head and neck region. The diagnostic and prognostic significance of adipokines and their potential role as serum and saliva biomarkers is also discussed.


Adipokines; adiponectin; esophageal cancer.; head and neck cancer; leptin; oral squamous cell carcinoma; salivary gland tumors; thyroid cancer

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