There is evidence that the mass and metabolic status of the adipose tissue that produces adipokines significantly affect the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and the synthesis of testosterone. This is due to the fact that adipokines, such as leptin, adiponectin, visfatin and resistin have an important role in the regulation of the male HPG axis and steroidogenesis in the testes. The regulation of the HPG axis by adipokines can be carried out both through the changes the plasma levels of adipokines (a systemic regulation) and through the changes in the expression and activity of adipokines in the pituitary and testes, the components of the HPG axis (an autonomous regulation). This review presents the comprehensive analysis of the involvement of leptin, adiponectin, resistin and visfatin in the regulation of the male HPG axis and the testosterone production, as well as of the possible mechanisms of this regulation. The role of adipokines in the dysregulation of the male reproductive system and the impaired steroidogenic activity in the testes in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are also discussed.
Part of the book: Advances in Testosterone Action