Regulation of apelin mRNA expression by insulin and glucocorticoids in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Regul Pept. 2005 Dec 15;132(1-3):27-32. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2005.08.003. Epub 2005 Aug 31.


The novel 36-amino acid peptide, apelin, is the endogenous ligand for the orphan receptor APJ. Apelin may play important roles in the regulation of the cardiovascular system and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. It is a potent hypotensive agent and one of the most potent stimulators of cardiac contractility. In this study, we investigated the roles of apelin derived from adipocytes in the regulation of cardiovascular homeostasis. We found that both apelin and APJ mRNAs were expressed in isolated mouse adipocytes and that apelin mRNA levels increased during the differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells to adipocytes. We also found that the administration of insulin (1 nM-100 nM) increased, while that of dexamethasone (0.1 nM-100 nM) decreased the apelin mRNA levels in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that insulin and glucocorticoids regulate apelin gene expression in adipocytes. We speculate that high glucocorticoid levels suppress apelin production and stimulate angiotensin II production in adipocyte, decreasing the counter-regulatory activity of apelin against the pressor action of angiotensin II, which might partly be involved in the mechanism underlying the development of obesity-related hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipokines
  • Animals
  • Apelin
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology
  • Homeostasis
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • RNA / drug effects
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Up-Regulation


  • Adipokines
  • Apelin
  • Apln protein, mouse
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Insulin
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • RNA
  • Dexamethasone