Adipokines: mediators of immunity and inflammation


  • Rajat Kharbanda Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Tarun Bansal Department of Cardiology, Apollomedics Superspeciality Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh,



Adipokines, Immunity, Immune-mediated diseases, Pro-inflammatory


White adipose tissue has emerged as a highly dynamic organ that releases a plethora of immune and inflammatory mediators that are involved in obesity, metabolic syndrome and immune mediated diseases. Adipokines have complex role in various physiological and pathological processes by exerting potent modulatory actions on target tissues In this Review, In this review, we explore the effects of different adipokines, focusing primarily on leptin, adiponectin, visfatin and resistin in causing immune-mediated and/or inflammatory diseases.


Ouchi N, Kihara S, Funahashi T, Matsuzawa Y, Walsh K. Obesity, adiponectin and vascular inflammatory disease. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2003;14:561-6.

El Hadi H, Di Vincenzo A, Vettor R, Rossato M. Food Ingredients Involved in White-to-Brown Adipose Tissue Conversion and in Calorie Burning. Front Physiol. 2018;9:1954.

Conde J, Scotece M, Go ́mez R, Lo ́pez V, Reino G J, Lago F, et al. Adipokines: biofactors from white adipose tissue. A complex hub among inflammation, metabolism, and immunity. Biofactors. 2011;37:413-20.

Kelesidis T. Narrative Review: The Role of Leptin in Human Physiology: Emerging Clinical Applications. Ann Int Med. 2010;152(2):93.

Licinio J, Mantzoros C, Negra ̃o AB, Cizza G, Wong ML, Bongiorno PB, et al. Human leptin levels are pulsatile and inversely related to pituitary-adrenal function. Nat Med.1997;3:575-9.

Abella V, Scotece M, Conde J, Pino J, Gonzalez-Gay MA, Gómez-Reino JJ, et al. Leptin in the interplay of inflammation, metabolism and immune system disorders. Natures Review Rheumatol. 2017;13:100-9.

Steyn FJ and Chen C. Adiponectin. Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides. 2nd ed. 2013: 983-989.

Kadowaki T, Yamauchi T. Adiponectin and adiponectin receptors. Endocr Rev. 2005;26:439-51.

Heiker TJ, Kosel T, Beck-Sickinger AG. Molecular mechanisms of signal transduction via adiponectin and adiponectin receptors. Biol Chem. 2010;391:1005-18.

Saddi-Rosa P, Oliveira CS, Giuffrida FM, Reis AF. Visfatin, glucose metabolism and vascular disease: a review of evidence. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2010;2:21.

Steppan CM, Brown EJ, Wright CM, Bhat S, Banerjee RR, Dai CY, et al. A family of tissue-specific resistin-like molecules. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jan 16; 98(2):502-6.

Tarkowski A, Bjersing J, Shestakov A, Bokarewa MI. Resistin competes with lipopolysaccharide for binding to toll-like receptor 4. J Cell Mol Med. 2010; 14(6B):1419-31.

Versini M, Jeandel PY, Rosenthal E, Shoenfeld Y. Obesity in autoimmune diseases: Not a passive bystander. Autoimmunity Reviews 2013 ;13(9):981-1000.

Ruscitti P, Cipriani P, Masedu F, Romano S, Berardicurti O, Liakouli V, et al. Increased Cardiovascular Events and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: 1 Year Prospective Single Centre Study. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0170108.

Neumann E, Junker S, Schett G, Frommer K, Müller-Ladner U. Adipokines in bone disease. Nature Reviews Rheumatology 2016;12:296-302.

Ruscitti P, Di Benedetto P, Berardicurti O, Liakouli V, Carubbi F, Cipriani P, et al. Adipocytokines in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Hidden Link between Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Comorbidities. Journal of Immunology Research 2018:1-10.

Targońska-Stepniak B, Dryglewska M, Majdan M. Adiponectin and leptin serum concentrations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int. 2010;30:731-7.

Yoshino T, Kusunoki N, Tanaka N, Kaneko K, Kusunoki Y, Endo H, et al. Elevated serum levels of resistin, leptin, and adiponectin are associated with C-reactive protein and also other clinical conditions in rheumatoid arthritis. Intern Med. 2011;50(4):269-75.

Allam A, Radwan A. The relationship of serum leptin levels with disease activity in Egyptian patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Egypt Rheumatol. 2012;34(4):185-90.

Abdalla M, Effat D, Sheta M, Hamed WE. Serum Leptin levels in rheumatoid arthritis and relationship with disease activity. Egypt Rheumatol. 2014;36(1):1-5.

Chen X, Lu J, Bao J, Guo J, Shi J, Wang Y. Adiponectin: a biomarker for rheumatoid arthritis? Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2013;24(1):83-9.

Alkady EAM, Ahmed HM, Tag L, Abdou MA. Adiponectin, Resistin und Visfatin in Serum und Gelenkflüssigkeit bei Patienten mit rheumatoider Arthritis. Z Rheumatol. 2011;70(7):602-8.

Klein-Wieringa IR, Van Der Linden MPM, Knevel R, Kwekkeboom JC, Van Beelen E, Huizinga TWJ, et al. Baseline serum adipokine levels predict radiographic progression in early rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2011;63(9):2567-74.

Khalifa IA, Abdelfattah A. Relation between serum visfatin and clinical severity in different stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil. 2013;40(1):1-8.

Bustos Rivera-Bahena C, Xibillé-Friedmann DX, González-Christen J, Carrillo- Vázquez SM, Montiel-Hernández JL. Peripheral blood Leptin and Resistin levels as clinical activity biomarkers in Mexican rheumatoid arthritis patients. Reumatol Clin. 2016;12(6):323-6.

Poonpet T, Honsawek S. Adipokines: Biomarkers for osteoarthritis? World J Orthop. 2014;5(3):319-27.

Yusuf E, Nelissen RG, Ioan-Facsinay A, Stojanovic-Susulic V, DeGroot J, van Osch G, et al. Association between weight or body mass index and hand osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69:761-5.

Filkova M, Liskova M, Hulejova H, Haluzık M, Gatterova J, Pavelkova A, et al. Increased serum adiponectin levels in female patients with erosive compared with non-erosive osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2009;68:295-6.

Krasowska D, Rudnicka L, Dańczak-Pazdrowska A, Cho- dorowska G, Woźniacka A, Lis-Święty A, et al. Systemic sclerosis—diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations of the Polish Dermatological Society. Part 1: diagnosis and monitoring. Dermatol Rev Przegląd Dermatologiczny. 2017;104:483-98.

Lakota K, Wei J, Carns M, Hinchcliff M, Lee J, Whitfield ML, et al. Levels of adiponectin, a marker for PPAR-gamma activity, correlate with skin fibrosis in systemic sclerosis: potential utility as biomarker? Arthritis Res Ther. 2012;14:R102.

Martin-Romero C, Santos-Alvarez J, Goberna R, Sanchez- Margalet V. Human leptin enhances activation and proliferation of human circulating T lymphocytes. Cell Immunol. 2000;199:15-24.

Lee M, Lee E, Jin SH, Ahn S, Kim SO, Kim J, et al. Leptin regulates the pro-inflammatory response in human epidermal keratinocytes. Arch Dermatol Res. 2018;310:351-62.

Tarkowski A, Bjersing J, Shestakov A, Bokarewa MI. Resistin competes with lipopolysaccharide for binding to toll- like receptor 4. J Cell Mol Med. 2009;14:1419-31.

Mayi TH, Duhem C, Copin C, Bouhlel MA, Rigamonti E, Pat- tou F, et al. Visfatin is induced by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma in human macrophages. FEBS J. 2010;277:3308-20.

Masui Y, Asano Y, Shibata S, Noda S, Akamata K, Aozasa N, et al. A pos- sible contribution of visfatin to the resolution of skin sclerosis in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis via a direct anti-fibrotic effect on dermal fibroblasts and Th1 polarization of the immune response. Rheumatol. 2013;52:1239-44.

Sada KE, Yamasaki Y, Maruyama M, Sugiyama H, Yamamura M, Maeshima Y, et al. Altered levels of adipocytokines in association with insulin resistance in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 2006;33:1545-52.

Scotece M, Conde J, Go ́ mez R, Lo ́ pez V, Lago F, Go ́ mez-Reino JJ, et al. Beyond fat mass: exploring the role of adipokines in rheumatic diseases. Sci World J. 2011;11:1932-47.

Bluher M. Adipokines - removing road blocks to obesity and diabetes therapy. Molecular Metab. 2014;3:230-40.




How to Cite

Kharbanda, R., & Bansal, T. (2020). Adipokines: mediators of immunity and inflammation. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 8(7), 2746–2752.



Review Articles