The emerging roles of adiponectin in female reproductive system-associated disorders and pregnancy

Reprod Sci. 2013;20(8):872-81

Angelidis G [1], Dafopoulos K [2], Messini CI [2], Valotassiou V [1], Tsikouras P [3], Vrachnis N [4], Psimadas D [1], Georgoulias P [1], Messinis IE [2]

[1] Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
[2] Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
[3] Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
[4] Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Adiponectin, the most abundant adipose-released cytokine, has an important role in metabolism, primarily through reducing insulin resistance. Reproductive functions are known to be influenced by energy balance and adiponectin may be involved in the underlying mechanisms connecting reproduction and metabolism. Interestingly, adiponectin has been shown to exert actions in the female reproductive system, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and the endometrium. The peripheral effects of this adipocytokine are mediated mainly via 2 receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. The expression of these receptors has been reported in the brain, ovaries, endometrium, and the placenta. Thus, adiponectin may influence fertility and pregnancy. Furthermore, adiponectin concentrations and effects have been assessed in some pregnancy-associated disorders and gynecological conditions. The findings may lead to the use of adiponectin or its receptors as therapeutic targets in novel treatment strategies of these disorders.

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