The paradigm that adipocytes serve as fat storage has been augmented by evidence that they have a direct role in the hormonal control of physiological responses to dietary fat intake. Adiponectin is a circulating protein, the serum level of which is decreased in obesity and diabetes and in patients with coronary heart disease, and increased during weight loss. The protein enhances insulin sensitivity by improving glucose and lipid metabolism, suggesting that adiponectin may have a role in preventing atherosclerosis, in addition to its beneficial impact on glucose and lipid homeostasis, and that improving levels of adiponectin could represent a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of diabetes. However, the receptor mediating its biological activities has been unclear. In the June 12 Nature, Toshimasa Yamauchi and colleagues at the University of Tokyo report the cloning of two separate adiponectin receptors, one from skeletal muscle and the other from liver (...

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