Adiponectin is an adipokine involved in the control of fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity, with direct anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory activities. Adiponectin stimulates AMPK phosphorylation and activation in the liver and the skeletal muscle, enhancing glucose utilization and fatty-acid combustion. Defects in adiponectin are the cause of adiponectin deficiency (ADPND). ADPND results in very low concentrations of plasma adiponectin. Genetic variations in adiponectin are associated with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), also known as diabetes mellitus type 2. NIDDM is characterized by an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, onset during adulthood and insulin resistance.