a dipokines or adipocytokines are the proteins secreted by the adipose tissue. these bioactive molecules include proteins that modify insulin sensitivity (acylation stimulating protein (asp), tnf-a, il- 6, resistin, leptin and adiponectin), and proteins that have known effects on vascularity (angiotensinogen and the plasminogen inhibitor protein pai-1). several studies have found a close relationship between adipocytes and immune cells as a consequence of evolutionary mechanisms that favor metabolic adaptation and survival under adverse conditions. it is known that adipokines contribute to the inflammation and insulin resistance present in obese individuals. the aim of this review is to analyze current information related to the physiology of the adipose tissue, with a special emphasis on the secretion of adipokines and their role in inflammation. we recommend that therapies addressing the treatment of obesity related disorders should focus on modifying the inflammatory process that originates in the adipose tissue.