Obesity is the abnormal increase in adipose tissue mass. This phenomenon increases the likelyhood of a number of diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and some kinds of cancer.
Obesity is probably the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. People are considered to be obese if their body mass index (BMI) exceeds a value of 30. The mainstays of treatment of obesity remain dieting and physical exercise.
Nevertheless, adipose tissue (fat) cannot be considered a worthless batch of “lard”, but rather a fascinating vital tissue that in addition to being the body’s major energy reservoir, plays a central role as a secretory organ. Research in this field has already lead to exciting results related to both fat reduction, insulin resistance and to the development of robust tools to study diabetes / obesity.
Adipokines are factors secreted by adipose tissue which carry messages to other parts of the body. I would like to briefly introduce the role of adipokines in the regulation of body weight and glucose homeostasis.