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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2004 Oct;287(4):R943-9. Epub 2004 Jun 10.

Activation of the systemic and adipose renin-angiotensin system in rats with diet-induced obesity and hypertension.

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  • 1Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, Rm. 521B, Charles T. Wethington Bldg., Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0200, USA.


In obesity-related hypertension, activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has been reported despite marked fluid volume expansion. Adipose tissue expresses components of the RAS and is markedly expanded in obesity. This study evaluated changes in components of the adipose and systemic RAS in diet-induced obese hypertensive rats. RAS was quantified in adipose tissue and compared with primary sources for the circulating RAS. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a low-fat (LF; 11% kcal as fat) or moderately high-fat (32% kcal as fat) diet for 11 wk. After 8 wk, rats fed the moderately high-fat diet segregated into obesity-prone (OP) and obesity-resistant (OR) groups based on their body weight gain (body weight: OR, 566 +/- 10; OP, 702 +/- 20 g; P < 0.05). Mean arterial blood pressure was increased in OP rats (LF: 97 +/- 2; OR: 97 +/- 2; OP: 105 +/- 1 mmHg; P < 0.05). Quantification of mRNA expression by real-time PCR demonstrated a selective increase (2-fold) in angiotensinogen gene expression in retroperitoneal adipose tissue from OP vs. OR and LF rats. Similarly, plasma angiotensinogen concentration was increased in OP rats (LF: 390 +/- 48; OR: 355 +/- 24; OP: 530 +/- 22 ng/ml; P < 0.05). In contrast, other components of the RAS were not altered in OP rats. Marked increases in the plasma concentrations of angiotensin peptides were observed in OP rats (angiotensin II: LF: 95 +/- 31; OR: 59 +/- 20; OP: 295 +/- 118 pg/ml; P < 0.05). These results demonstrate increased activity of the adipose and systemic RAS in obesity-related hypertension.

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