Anorexia, malnutrition, altered body composition and development of mesenteric obesity are well known features of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recent data suggest that dysregulation of protein secretion by white adipose tissue is involved in these manifestations of patients with IBD. Adipocytes are recently recognized as endocrine cells that secrete a variety of bioactive substances known as adipocytokines. There is evidence that adipocytokines are involved in inflammatory and metabolic pathways in human beings. Overexpression of adipocytokines such as leptin, adiponectin and resistin in mesenteric adipose tissue of operated patients with Crohn's disease has recently been reported, suggesting that mesenteric adipocytes in IBD may act as immunoregulating cells. Therefore, it could be suggested that adipocytokines play an important role in the disease pathogenesis. Moreover, modulators of mesenteric adipose function have been suggested as potential therapeutic drugs in IBD. In this review, the importance of white adipose tissue function and adipocytokines, is discussed with respect to IBD.