The role of adiponectin in reproduction: From polycystic ovary syndrome to assisted reproduction

Konstantinos G. Michalakis, James H. Segars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Objective: To summarize the effects of the adipokine adiponectin on the reproductive endocrine system, from the hypothalamic-pituitary axis to the gonads and target tissues of the reproductive system. Design: A Medline computer search was performed to identify relevant articles. Setting: Research institution. Intervention(s): None. Result(s): Adiponectin is a hormone secreted by adipose tissue that acts to reduce insulin resistance and atherogenic damage, but it also exerts actions in other tissues. Adiponectin mediates its actions in the periphery mainly via two receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. Adiponectin receptors are present in many reproductive tissues, including the central nervous system, ovaries, oviduct, endometrium, and testes. Adiponectin influences gonadotropin release, normal pregnancy, and assisted reproduction outcomes. Conclusion(s): Adiponectin, a beneficial adipokine, represents a major link between obesity and reproduction. Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with improved menstrual function and better outcomes in assisted reproductive cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1949-1957
Number of pages9
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiponectin
  • PCOS
  • assisted reproduction
  • embryo development
  • gonads
  • hypothalamus
  • pituitary
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • pregnancy
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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