Adiponectin, Leptin and Cardiovascular Disorders

Shangang Zhao, Christine M. Kusminski, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The landmark discoveries of leptin and adiponectin firmly established adipose tissue as a sophisticated and highly active endocrine organ, opening a new era of investigating adipose-mediated tissue crosstalk. Both obesity-associated hyperleptinemia and hypoadiponectinemia are important biomarkers to predict cardiovascular outcomes, suggesting a crucial role for adiponectin and leptin in obesity-associated cardiovascular disorders. Normal physiological levels of adiponectin and leptin are indeed essential to maintain proper cardiovascular function. Insufficient adiponectin and leptin signaling results in cardiovascular dysfunction. However, a paradox of high levels of both leptin and adiponectin is emerging in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disorders. Here, we (1) summarize the recent progress in the field of adiponectin and leptin and its association with cardiovascular disorders, (2) further discuss the underlying mechanisms for this new paradox of leptin and adiponectin action, and (3) explore the possible application of partial leptin reduction, in addition to increasing the adiponectin/leptin ratio as a means to prevent or reverse cardiovascular disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalCirculation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2021


  • adiponectin
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • hypoadiponectinemia
  • leptin
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology


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