This review focuses on the recent findings that adiponectin plays a significant role of in cardiovascular diseases. Adipose tissue functions as an endocrine organ by secreting adipocytokines that can directly affect nearby or remote organs. Adiponectin is an adipocytokine whose concentration
is down-regulated in subjects with obesity-related disorders. Low levels of circulating adiponectin appear to associate with the increased prevalence of obesity-linked diseases including atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease. A number of experimental studies have shown that adiponectin
exerts beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system by directly acting on the component cells in the heart and blood vessels. The cardiovascular protection by adiponectin is mediated through its ability to attenuate inflammatory responses and apoptotic activities in the target organs. Thus,
adiponectin could represent a therapeutic target molecule for prevention or treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
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