Effects of spironolactone on glucose transport and interleukin-6 secretion in adipose cells of women

Horm Metab Res. 2007 Dec;39(12):915-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-993156.


Adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance are central to the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome. Spironolactone, an antagonist of mineralocorticoid receptor, glucocorticoid receptor and androgen receptor, and agonist of progesterone receptor, has anti-inflammatory activity. Blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has been shown to improve glucose metabolism. We have investigated whether spironolactone has direct effects on glucose uptake and interleukin-6 secretion in human adipocytes. Spironolactone, but not its active metabolite canrenoic acid, significantly increased basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in cultured IN VITRO-differentiated adipocytes of women, without affecting insulin sensitivity. The effect was not due to changes in abundance of glucose transporters 1 or 4 or in degree of cell differentiation. Spironolactone, but not canrenoic acid, significantly reduced basal interleukin-6 secretion by cultured stromal-vascular cells. These effects of spironolactone were not mediated by ligand-dependent antagonism of the mineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid, or androgen receptors. Spironolactone may have a novel role in increasing glucose uptake into adipose cells and attenuating adipose tissue inflammation, with implications for management of metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Spironolactone / pharmacology*


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Interleukin-6
  • Spironolactone
  • Glucose