Adrenocortical dysfunction in obesity and the metabolic syndrome

Horm Metab Res. 2008 Aug;40(8):515-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1073154. Epub 2008 Apr 30.


Recently, it has become evident that the adrenals play a key role in obesity as well as in the metabolic syndrome and their complications. On the one hand, adrenal steroids are involved in physiological regulation of adipose tissue and energy homeostasis and in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic complications. On the other hand, fat cell-derived factors, adipocytokines, and lipids released from adipose tissue are involved in the modulation of adrenal steroidogenesis. Aldosterone plasma levels are elevated in obesity and in patients with the metabolic syndrome. Recent research has provided evidence that adipocytes secrete factors that stimulate adrenal mineralocorticoid release and sensitize the adrenal cortex to angiotensin II.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / metabolism
  • Adrenal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Adrenal Medulla / metabolism
  • Aldosterone / metabolism
  • Aldosterone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology*


  • Aldosterone