In a recently published review, PDRC physician-scientist Susan Phillips and co-author Jacqueline Kung describe the importance of the insulin-sensitizing and anti-inflammatory fat cell hormone adiponectin. The authors discuss why adiponectin is so important for regulating type 2 diabetes, and describe the range of medications used to stimulate its activity.
Increased understanding of how adiponectin works creates opportunities for researchers to enhance existing medications and test new compounds. Researchers examine the way adiponectin can be stimulated or made more effective at different stages. First, researchers have identified the genes that develop the hormone. This is important for understanding how genetic therapies might help, and how obesity inhibits its development. Second, researchers have identified how different processes following the production of adiponectin contribute to its effectiveness in regulating metabolism.
The main drug classes that increase adiponectin are statins, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and thiazolidinediones (TZDs). Further research into understanding how these drugs work will help scientists identify new therapies.
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