Published online Feb 14, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i6.802
Revised: December 3, 2012
Accepted: December 15, 2012
Published online: February 14, 2013
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is recognized as the most common type of chronic liver disease in Western countries. Insulin resistance is a key factor in the pathogenesis of NAFLD, the latter being considered as the hepatic component of insulin resistance or obesity. Adiponectin is the most abundant adipose-specific adipokine. There is evidence that adiponectin decreases hepatic and systematic insulin resistance, and attenuates liver inflammation and fibrosis. Adiponectin generally predicts steatosis grade and the severity of NAFLD; however, to what extent this is a direct effect or related to the presence of more severe insulin resistance or obesity remains to be addressed. Although there is no proven pharmacotherapy for the treatment of NAFLD, recent therapeutic strategies have focused on the indirect upregulation of adiponectin through the administration of various therapeutic agents and/or lifestyle modifications. In this adiponectin-focused review, the pathogenetic role and the potential therapeutic benefits of adiponectin in NAFLD are analyzed systematically.