Physiol. Res. 55: 233-244, 2006


Adipocytokines and Cancer


1Department of Pathology, Third Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Královské Vinohrady, 2Third Department of Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Received August 17, 2005
Accepted October 17, 2005
On-line available October 17, 2005

Adipose tissue-produced hormones significantly affect the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates as well as numerous other processes in human body. It is generally accepted that endocrine dysfunction of adipose tissue may represent one of the causal links between obesity and insulin resistance/diabetes. Epidemiological studies underlined that obesity represents a significant risk factor for the development of cancer, although the exact mechanism of this relationship remains to be determined. Multiple recent studies have indicated that some of adipose tissue-derived hormones may significantly influence the growth and proliferation of tumorous stroma and malignant cells within. Here we review current knowledge about possible relationship of leptin and adiponectin to the etiopathogenesis of different malignant tumors. Most of the studies indicated that while leptin may potentiate the growth of cancer cells in vitro, adiponectin appears to have an opposite effect. Further studies are necessary to decide whether obesity-induced endocrine dysfunction of adipose tissue can directly influence carcinogenesis in different tissues and organs.

Key words
Obesity • Adipocytokine • Leptin • Adiponectin • Cancer • Adipose tissue

© 2006 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences