Deletion of Rictor in brain and fat alters peripheral clock gene expression and increases blood pressure

Hypertension. 2015 Aug;66(2):332-9. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.05398. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) contains the essential protein RICTOR and is activated by growth factors. mTORC2 in adipose tissue contributes to the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. In the perivascular adipose tissue, mTORC2 ensures normal vascular reactivity by controlling expression of inflammatory molecules. To assess whether RICTOR/mTORC2 contributes to blood pressure regulation, we applied a radiotelemetry approach in control and Rictor knockout (Rictor(aP2KO)) mice generated using adipocyte protein-2 gene promoter-driven CRE recombinase expression to delete Rictor. The 24-hour mean arterial pressure was increased in Rictor(aP2KO) mice, and the physiological decline in mean arterial pressure during the dark period was impaired. In parallel, heart rate and locomotor activity were elevated during the dark period with a pattern similar to blood pressure changes. This phenotype was associated with mild cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, decreased cardiac natriuretic peptides, and their receptor expression in adipocytes. Moreover, clock gene expression was reduced or phase-shifted in perivascular adipose tissue. No differences in clock gene expression were observed in the master clock suprachiasmatic nucleus, although Rictor gene expression was also lower in brain of Rictor(aP2KO) mice. Thus, this study highlights the importance of RICTOR/mTORC2 for interactions between vasculature, adipocytes, and brain to tune physiological outcomes, such as blood pressure and locomotor activity.

Keywords: RICTOR, mouse; adipose tissue; arterial pressure; circadian clocks; locomotor activity; mTOR complex 2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • CLOCK Proteins / genetics
  • CLOCK Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Gene Expression
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hypertrophy
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 2
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Animal
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Rapamycin-Insensitive Companion of mTOR Protein
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Rapamycin-Insensitive Companion of mTOR Protein
  • rictor protein, mouse
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • Clock protein, mouse
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 2
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases