The Significance of Elevated Adiponectin in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Terry P. Combs, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) represent a new family of oral antihyperglycemic agents for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A recently discovered effect of TZDs is the induction of a circulating protein produced exclusively in adipocytes, called Acrp30 or adiponectin. To date, 5 clinical studies have confirmed the induction of circulating adiponectin during TZD treatment. Subjects with type 2 diabetes have lower levels of adiponectin than those without diabetes, yet it is very unlikely that the induction of adiponectin during TZD treatment is a secondary effect of improved glycemia. Highly purified recombinant adiponectin showed very dramatic blood glucose (BG) -lowering effects. The increase in circulating adiponectin during TZD treatment is associated with elevated adiponectin levels in adipose tissue. There is overwhelming evidence that adiponectin levels are associated with insulin sensitivity, and TZDs are the only known pharmacologic inducers of adiponectin. Future studies will provide a better understanding of the mechanism of action of TZDs and adiponectin's role in whole body insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Diabetes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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