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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 534320, 13 pages
Review Article

Differential Role of Leptin and Adiponectin in Cardiovascular System

1Department of Anatomy, Cell biology and Physiology, American University of Beirut, DTS-255, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, American University of Beirut, DTS-255, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon

Received 7 December 2014; Accepted 23 April 2015

Academic Editor: Alexander Schreiber

Copyright © 2015 C. M. Ghantous et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Leptin and adiponectin are differentially expressed adipokines in obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Leptin levels are directly associated with adipose tissue mass, while adiponectin levels are downregulated in obesity. Although significantly produced by adipocytes, leptin is also produced by vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. Plasma leptin concentrations are elevated in cases of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction. As for the event of left ventricular hypertrophy, researchers have been stirring controversy about the role of leptin in this form of cardiac remodeling. In this review, we discuss how leptin has been shown to play an antihypertrophic role in the development of left ventricular hypertrophy through in vitro experiments, population-based cross-sectional studies, and longitudinal cohort studies. Conversely, we also examine how leptin may actually promote left ventricular hypertrophy using in vitro analysis and human-based univariate and multiple linear stepwise regression analysis. On the other hand, as opposed to leptin’s generally detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system, adiponectin is a cardioprotective hormone that reduces left ventricular and vascular hypertrophy, oxidative stress, and inflammation. In this review, we also highlight adiponectin signaling and its protective actions on the cardiovascular system.