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Subject: Adiponectin

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  • Adiponectin, a hormone secreted exclusively by adipose tissue, has an important role in the regulation of tissue inflammation and insulin sensitivity. Perturbations in adiponectin concentration have been associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Levels of the hormone are inversely correlated with body fat percentage in adults, whereas the association in infants and young children is more unclear.

  • Normal range: see Table 16.3.

TABLE 16–3
Normal Range of Adiponectin


  • Higher adiponectin levels are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes across diverse populations, consistent with a dose–response relationship.


Increased In

  • Twofold before a meal and decreases to trough levels within 1 hour after eating

  • More than twofold in hemodialysis patients

Decreased In

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome


  • Adiponectin exerts some of its weight reduction effects via the brain. This is similar to the action of leptin, but the two hormones perform complementary actions and can have additive effects.

  • Due to its important cardiometabolic actions, adiponectin represents a biologic molecule worth being studied as a new emerging biomarker of disease and also as a target for pharmacologic treatments.

Suggested Reading

Li  S, Shin  HJ, Ding  EL Adiponectin levels and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA.  2009;302(2):179–188.