Hindsight: Hormonal Regulation of the Human Adipose-Tissue Renin-Angiotensin System

Having previously described the presence of a renin-angiotensin system in human adipose tissue, my lab continued exploring the regulation and function of this system in human obesity and hypertension.

In a paper published in the Journal of Hypertension in 2002, Kerstin Gorzelniak examined the expression of renin-angiotensin system genes in subcutaneous abdominal adipocytes of 12 lean normotensive, 8 obese normotensive, and 10 obese hypertensive women. She also performed in vitro studies to examine the hormonal regulation of these genes in primary cultured human adipocytes.

While expression of the angiotensinogen gene was significantly lower in adipocytes from both obese groups, the renin, angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin II type 1 receptor genes were significantly upregulated in obese hypertensives.

Hydrocortisone increased angiotensin II type 1 receptor gene and protein expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner in human adipocytes, but had no significant influence on other renin-angiotensin system genes. Expression of these genes was not significantly affected by any of the other tested hormones, including insulin, thyroxin, estradiol and angiotensin II.

From these studies we concluded that renin-angiotensin system genes are differentially regulated in human obesity and hypertension – but how exactly these differences occur was certainly not explained by our findings.

According to Google Scholar, this paper has been cited 167 times.

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