In recent years, we have learned that adipocytes are not merely inert storage depots for triglycerides but rather highly active cells with potent autocrine, paracrine and endocrine functions. Adipose tissue secretes a large number of physiologically active polypeptides. Although leptin remains one of the best-studied examples of an adipocyte-specific secretory factor, recent reports describe potent physiological activities for another adipocyte-specific secreted protein, adipocyte complement-related protein of 30 kDa (Acrp30). Full-length versions of Acrp30 or its proteolytic fragments decrease the postprandial rise of plasma free fatty acids and improve postabsorptive insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose output. A strong correlation between plasma Acrp30 levels and systemic insulin sensitivity is well established and the protein has putative anti-atherogenic properties that are relevant for the prevention of formation of atherosclerotic plaques. The current challenge is to understand the molecular mechanisms through which the protein exerts its multiple functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism