Adipose tissue also behaves as an endocrine organ by secreting various hormones called adipokines. Understandably in people who are overweight, there is dysregulation in function of adipose tissue and so is the production of these adipokines. The most common of these are adiponectin and leptin which represent a link at the level of signal transduction between adipocytes and metabolic disorder.
Adiponectin is present in the plasma in high concentrations. It sensitizes the body to insulin, is anti-inflammatory and protects from atherosclerosis. However in obese patients, the expression/synthesis of adiponectin is down-regulated so its serum levels are less than those in normal weight people.
Leptin on the other hand is an adipokine that suppresses appetite, increases energy usage and weight loss under physiological conditions. Its levels correlate with the amount of fat an individual has. Consequently in people who are obese, the serum levels of leptin are increased and this is due to development of resistance against leptin in such patients (which explains the weight gain). In patients of hunger and malnutrition, leptin levels are decreased. Keep in mind, leptin is a pro-inflammatory cytokine unlike adiponectin which is anti-inflammatory.
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