Adipocytes Produce Aldosterone Through Calcineurin-Dependent Signaling Pathways
Implications in Diabetes Mellitus–Associated Obesity and Vascular Dysfunction
We reported aldosterone as a novel adipocyte-derived factor that regulates vascular function. We aimed to investigate molecular mechanisms, signaling pathways, and functional significance of adipocyte-derived aldosterone and to test whether adipocyte-derived aldosterone is increased in diabetes mellitus–associated obesity, which contributes to vascular dysfunction. Studies were performed in the 3T3-L1 adipocyte cell line and mature adipocytes isolated from human and mouse (C57BL/6J) adipose tissue. Mesenteric arteries with and without perivascular fat and mature adipocytes were obtained from obese diabetic db/db and control db/+ mice. Aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2; mRNA and protein) was detected in 3T3-L1 and mature adipocytes, which secrete aldosterone basally and in response to angiotensin II (Ang II). In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Ang II stimulation increased aldosterone secretion and CYP11B2 expression. Ang II effects were blunted by an Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist (candesartan) and inhibitors of calcineurin (cyclosporine A and FK506) and nuclear factor of activated T-cells (VIVIT). FAD286 (aldosterone synthase inhibitor) blunted adipocyte differentiation. In candesartan-treated db/db mice (1 mg/kg per day, 4 weeks) increased plasma aldosterone, CYP11B2 expression, and aldosterone secretion were reduced. Acetylcholine-induced relaxation in db/db mesenteric arteries containing perivascular fat was improved by eplerenone (mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist) without effect in db/+ mice. Adipocytes possess aldosterone synthase and produce aldosterone in an Ang II/Ang II type 1 receptor/calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cells–dependent manner. Functionally adipocyte-derived aldosterone regulates adipocyte differentiation and vascular function in an autocrine and paracrine manner, respectively. These novel findings identify adipocytes as a putative link between aldosterone and vascular dysfunction in diabetes mellitus–associated obesity.
- Received December 20, 2011.
- Revision received December 30, 2011.
- Accepted March 12, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.