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Basic Science for the Clinician 52: Adipokines

Sigal, Leonard H. MD, FACP, FACR

Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: April 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 157-161
doi: 10.1097/RHU.0b013e318214f419
Basic Science for the Clinician

Adipocytes, the cells that maintain fat stores and influence energy metabolism, produce a variety of messengers, called adipokines (or adipocytokines). These proteins have broad reaching effects on glucose and fat metabolism, but also influence inflammation, by modulating the production of inflammatory cytokines and modifying how established cytokines such as interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α themselves induce or modulate inflammation; some of these proteins are produced by synovial tissue adipocytes, suggesting a very direct effect on the modification of local inflammation. Adipokines provide mechanisms that might explain accelerated atherosclerosis and impaired glucose metabolism in some of our chronic inflammatory diseases and offer potential unique therapeutic approaches to control these and other manifestations of inflammation.

From the Division of Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Research; Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ.

Correspondence: Leonard H. Sigal, MD, FACP, FACR, MEB 484, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 1 RW Johnson Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-001.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.