IMR Press / RCM / Volume 22 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm2203086
Open Access Review
The blooming intersection of subfatin and metabolic syndrome
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1 Department of Hepatobiliary Disease, Fuzhou General Hospital (Dongfang Hospital), Xiamen University, 350025 Fuzhou, Fujian, China
2 Department of Hepatobiliary Disease, The 900th Hospital of Joint Logistics Support Force, 350025 Fuzhou, Fujian, China
3 Department of Pathology, Quanzhou Women’s and Children’s Hospital, 362000 Quanzhou, Fujian, China
4 School of Public Health, Xiamen University, 361002 Xiamen, Fujian, China
5 Department of Oncology, 920th Hospital of Joint Logistics Support Force, 650032 Kunming, Yunnan, China
These authors contributed equally.
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2021, 22(3), 799–805;
Submitted: 10 June 2021 | Revised: 23 July 2021 | Accepted: 13 August 2021 | Published: 24 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases)

Metabolic Syndrome (MS) remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally. Adipose tissue releases adipokines that play key roles in metabolic and cardio-cerebro-vascular homeostasis. Subfatin, induced after exercise or upon cold exposure in adipose tissue, is a novel secreted protein homologous to Metrn, a neutrophic factor with angiogenic properties. The protein was proved to be of great significance in the browning of white adipose tissue (BWT) and insulin resistance (IR). It affected insulin sensitivity at least via its local autocrine/paracrine action through AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPAR-δ) dependent signaling. Subfatin blocked the release of inflammatory mediators, improved intracellular insulin signal transduction and reversed IR. It also improved glucose tolerance and played a key role in metabolism and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular homeostasis. It was reported that the level of serum subfatin was significantly correlated with the occurrence and severity of coronary heart disease, which might be a new target for the treatment of coronary heart disease. In addition, exercise increased the level of subfatin in circulation and adipose tissue, promoted energy consumption, improved glucose and lipid metabolism, increased the heat production of brown fat, and strengthened the anti-inflammatory mechanism. Given its role in metabolic disorders, subfatin is considered as a candidate biomarker of MS. However, the clinical significance of subfatin remains largely unclear. The purpose of this article is to review the research on the effect of subfatin on MS in recent years.

Interleukin 39
Metabolic syndrome
Fig. 1.
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