Adiponectin, obesity, and cancer: Clash of the bigwigs in health and disease

Sheetal Parida, Sumit Siddharth, Dipali Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Adiponectin is one of the most important adipocytokines secreted by adipocytes and is called a “guardian angel adipocytokine” owing to its unique biological functions. Adiponectin inversely correlates with body fat mass and visceral adiposity. Identified independently by four different research groups, adiponectin has multiple names; Acrp30, apM1, GBP28, and AdipoQ. Adiponectin mediates its biological functions via three known receptors, AdipoR1, AdipoR2, and T-cadherin, which are distributed throughout the body. Biological functions of adiponectin are multifold ranging from anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory to anti-cancer. Lower adiponectin levels have been associated with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. A plethora of experimental evidence supports the role of obesity and increased adiposity in multiple cancers including breast, liver, pancreatic, prostrate, ovarian, and colorectal cancers. Obesity mediates its effect on cancer progression via dysregulation of adipocytokines including increased production of oncogenic adipokine leptin along with decreased production of adiponectin. Multiple studies have shown the protective role of adiponectin in obesity-associated diseases and cancer. Adiponectin modulates multiple signaling pathways to exert its physiological and protective functions. Many studies over the years have shown the beneficial effect of adiponectin in cancer regression and put forth various innovative ways to increase adiponectin levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2519
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2019


  • Adiponectin
  • Cancer
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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