Resistin is a member of a class of cysteine-rich proteins collectively termed resistin-like molecules. Resistin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity-mediated insulin resistance and T2DM (Type II diabetes mellitus), at least in rodent models. In addition, resistin also appears to be a pro-inflammatory cytokine. Taken together, resistin, like many other adipocytokines, may possess a dual role in contributing to disease risk. However, to date there has been considerable controversy surrounding this 12.5 kDa polypeptide in understanding its physiological relevance in both human and rodent systems. Furthermore, this has led some to question whether resistin represents an important pathogenic factor in the aetiology of T2DM and cardiovascular disease. Although researchers still remain divided as to the role of resistin, this review will place available data on resistin in the context of our current knowledge of the pathogenesis of obesity-mediated diabetes, and discuss key controversies and developments.

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