Roles of adipokines in digestive diseases: Markers of inflammation, metabolic alteration and disease progression

Ming Ling Chang*, Zinger Yang, Sien Sing Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue is a highly dynamic endocrine tissue and constitutes a central node in the interorgan crosstalk network through adipokines, which cause pleiotropic effects, including the modulation of angiogenesis, metabolism, and inflammation. Specifically, digestive cancers grow anatomically near adipose tissue. During their interaction with cancer cells, adipocytes are reprogrammed into cancer‐associated adipocytes and secrete adipokines to affect tumor cells. Moreover, the liver is the central metabolic hub. Adipose tissue and the liver cooperatively regulate whole‐body energy homeostasis via adipokines. Obesity, the excessive accumulation of adipose tissue due to hyperplasia and hypertrophy, is currently considered a global epidemic and is related to low‐grade systemic inflammation characterized by altered adipokine regulation. Obesity‐related digestive diseases, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, colon polyps and cancer, non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis‐related diseases, cholelithiasis, gallbladder cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, pancreatic cancer, and diabetes, might cause specific alterations in adipokine profiles. These patterns and associated bases potentially contribute to the identification of prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic approaches for the associated digestive diseases. This review highlights important findings about altered adipokine profiles relevant to digestive diseases, including hepatic, pancreatic, gastrointestinal, and biliary tract diseases, with a perspective on clinical implications and mechanistic explorations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8308
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - 01 11 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Adipokine
  • Adiponectin
  • Biliary
  • Colon
  • Esophagus
  • Gallbladder
  • HBV
  • HCV
  • Leptin
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine
  • Stomach


Dive into the research topics of 'Roles of adipokines in digestive diseases: Markers of inflammation, metabolic alteration and disease progression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this