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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 17, 2015

Adipokines in human reproduction

  • Joëlle Dupont EMAIL logo , Xavier Pollet-Villard , Maxime Reverchon , Namya Mellouk and Rachel Levy


Adipose tissue communicates with other central and peripheral organs by the synthesis and release of substances called adipokines. The most studied adipokine is leptin but others have been recently identified including resistin, adiponectin, chemerin, omentin and visfatin. These adipokines have a critical role in the development of obesity-related complications and inflammatory conditions. However, they are also involved in other functions in the organism including reproductive functions. Indeed, many groups have demonstrated that adipokine receptors, such as adiponectin and chemerin, but also adipokines themselves (adiponectin, chemerin, resistin, visfatin and omentin) are expressed in human peripheral reproductive tissues and that these adipokines are likely to exert direct effects on these tissues. After a brief description of these new adipokines, an overview of their actions in different human reproductive organs (hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary, testis, uterus and placenta) will be presented. Finally, comments will be made on the eventual alterations of these adipokines in reproductive disorders, with special attention to polycystic ovary syndrome, a disease characterized by dysfunction of gonadal axis and systemic nerve endocrine metabolic network with a prevalence of up to 10% in women of reproductive age.

Corresponding author: Dr. Joëlle Dupont, INRA, UMR85, Unité Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, Nouzilly, France; CNRS, UMR7247, Nouzilly, France; Université François Rabelais, Tours, France; and L‘Institut français du cheval et de l‘équitation (IFCE), Nouzilly, France, Phone: +33 2 47 42 77 89, Fax: +33 2 47 42 77 43, E-mail:


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Received: 2015-7-27
Accepted: 2015-10-5
Published Online: 2015-11-17
Published in Print: 2015-10-1

©2015 by De Gruyter

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