Inter-relationships of the chronobiotic, melatonin, with leptin and adiponectin: Implications for obesity

Karolina Szewczyk-Golec, Alina Woźniak, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Obesity and its medical complications represent a significant problem throughout the world. In recent decades, mechanisms underlying the progression of obesity have been intensively examined. The involvement of both the behavioral aspects, such as calorie-rich diet, low physical activity and sleep deprivation, and the intrinsic factors, including adipose tissue deregulation, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and chronodisruption, has been identified. The circadian disturbances of the adipose tissue endocrine function have been correlated with obesity. Leptin and adiponectin are adipokines strongly associated with glucose and lipid metabolism and with energy balance. Their synthesis and secretion display circadian rhythms that are disturbed in the obese state. Hyperleptinemia resulting in leptin resistance, and hypo-adiponectinemia have been linked to the pathophysiology of the obesity-related disorders. A deficiency of melatonin, one of the consequences of sleep deprivation, has also been demonstrated to correlate with obesity. Melatonin is a pineal secretory product involved in numerous actions, such as regulation of internal biological clocks and energy metabolism, and it functions as an antioxidant and as an anti-inflammatory agent. There exists a substantial amount of evidence supporting the beneficial effects of melatonin supplementation on obesity and its complications. In the current review, the results of studies related to the interactions between melatonin, and both leptin and adiponectin are discussed. Despite the existence of some inconsistencies, melatonin has been found to normalize the expression and secretion patterns of both adipokines. These results support the concept of melatonin as a potential therapeutic agent for obesity and related disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-291
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • adipokines
  • adiponectin
  • chronobiology
  • leptin
  • melatonin
  • obesity
  • white adipose tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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