Adipokines are the hormones which are secreted by adipose tissues. These are the cell signaling proteins also called cytokines. The first ever adipokine that was discovered was leptin in 1994. Till date, more than hundreds of adipokines have been discovered.
Adipokines function as classic circulating hormones to communicate with other organs including brain, liver, muscle, the immune system, and adipose tissue itself. The dysregulation of adipokines has been implicated in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Proinflammatory molecules produced by adipose tissue have been implicated as active participants in the development of insulin resistance and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with obesity. In contrast, reduced leptin levels might predispose to increased susceptibility to infection caused by reduced T-cell responses in malnourished individuals. adipokines are also involved in the regulation of inflammatory responses.