Importance of adipokines in glucose homeostasis

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Obesity increases the risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and, therefore, may contribute to reduced life expectancy. Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ secreting several hundreds of adipokines, which contribute to the crosstalk of adipose tissue with the brain, liver, muscle and other organs. Altered secretion patterns of adipokines are a symptom of adipose tissue dysfunction and may link obesity to an increased risk of insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, dementia, airway disease and some cancers. Adipokines may become clinically important both as biomarkers and as the substrate or target for pharmacotherapeutic management of obesity and its related diseases in the future. This review focuses on selected adipokines, which play a role in glucose homeostasis.

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