First seen as a fat-storage tissue, the adipose tissue is considered as a critical player in the endocrine system. Precisely, adipose tissue can produce an array of bioactive factors, including cytokines, lipids, and extracellular vesicles, which target various systemic organ systems to regulate metabolism, homeostasis, and immune response. The global effects of adipokines on metabolic events are well defined, but their impacts on brain function and pathology remain poorly defined. Receptors of adipokines are widely expressed in the brain. Mounting evidence has shown that leptin and adiponectin can cross the blood–brain barrier, while evidence for newly identified adipokines is limited. Significantly, adipocyte secretion is liable to nutritional and metabolic states, where defective circuitry, impaired neuroplasticity, and elevated neuroinflammation are symptomatic. Essentially, neurotrophic and anti-inflammatory properties of adipokines underlie their neuroprotective roles in neurodegenerative diseases. Besides, adipocyte-secreted lipids in the bloodstream can act endocrine on the distant organs. In this article, we have reviewed five adipokines (leptin, adiponectin, chemerin, apelin, visfatin) and two lipokines (palmitoleic acid and lysophosphatidic acid) on their roles involving in eating behavior, neurotrophic and neuroprotective factors in the brain. Understanding and regulating these adipokines can lead to novel therapeutic strategies to counteract metabolic associated eating disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, thus promote brain health.
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