The adipose-tissue renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system: role in the metabolic syndrome?

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;35(6):807-25. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(02)00311-4.


Overfeeding of rodents leads to increased local formation of angiotensin II due to increased secretion of angiotensinogen from adipocytes. Whereas angiotensin II promotes adipocyte growth and preadipocyte recruitment, increased secretion of angiotensinogen from adipocytes also directly contributes to the close relationship between adipose-tissue mass and blood pressure in mice. In contrast, angiotensin II acts as an antiadipogenic substance in human adipose tissue, and the total increase in adipose-tissue mass may be more important in determining human plasma angiotensinogen levels than changes within the single adipocyte. However, as increased local formation of angiotensin II in adipose tissue may be increased especially in obese hypertensive subjects, a contribution of the adipose-tissue renin-angiotensin system to the development of insulin resistance and hypertension is conceivable in humans, but not yet proven. Insulin resistance may be aggravated by the inhibition of preadipocyte recruitment, which results in the redistribution of triglycerides to the liver and skeletal muscle, and blood pressure may be influenced by local formation of angiotensin II in perivascular adipose tissue. Thus, although the mechanisms are still speculative, the beneficial effects of ACE-inhibition and angiotensin-receptor blockade on the development of type 2 diabetes in large clinical trials suggest a pathophysiological role of the adipose-tissue renin-angiotensin system in the metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism
  • Angiotensin II / metabolism*
  • Angiotensinogen / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Renin / metabolism
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology*
  • Thermogenesis / physiology


  • Angiotensinogen
  • Angiotensin II
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • Renin