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Exp Anim. 2014;63(2):257-67.

Regulation of apelin and its receptor expression in adipose tissues of obesity rats with hypertension and cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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Department of Cardiology, Shanghai First People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R. China.


The apelin/APJ system has been implicated in obesity-related hypertension. We investigated the mechanism responsible for the pathogenesis of obesity-related hypertension with a special focus on the crosstalk between AngII/its type 1 receptor (AT1R) signaling and apelin/APJ expression. Sprague-Dawley rats fed a high-fat (obesity-related hypertension, OH) or normal-fat diet (NF) for 15 weeks were randomly assigned to one of two groups and administered vehicle or perindopril for 4 weeks. Compared to the NF rats, the OH rats showed lower levels of plasma apelin and apelin/APJ mRNAs of perirenal adipose tissues, and these changes were restored by perindopril. Administration of the AT1R antagonist olmesartan resulted in the restoration of the reduction of apelin and APJ expressions induced by AngII for 48 h in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Among several inhibitors for extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) PD98059, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) SB203580 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) LY294002, the latter showed an additive effect on AngII-mediated inhibitory effects. In addition, the levels of p-Akt, p-ERK and p38MAPK proteins were decreased by long-term treatment with AngII (120 min), and these changes were restored by Olmesartan. Apelin/APJ appears to be impaired in obesity-related hypertension. The AngII inhibition-mediated beneficial effects are likely attributable, at least in part, to restoration of p38/ERK-dependent apelin/APJ expression in diet-induced obesity-related hypertension.

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