Angiotensin II stimulates the reactivity of the pituitary-adrenal axis in leptin-resistant Zucker rats, thereby influencing the glucose utilization

Helge Müller, Nora Schweitzer, Olaf Jöhren, Peter Dominiak, Walter Raasch*

*Corresponding author for this work
22 Citations (Scopus)


The HPA axis is hyperactive under conditions of leptin and insulin resistance as well as after ANG II administration. We hypothesized that a hyperreactivity of the HPA axis to ANG contributes to an impaired glucose utilization in obesity, since leptin resistance and an overactive renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system are features of obesity. Zucker rats were treated with ANG via subcutaneous minipumps (0, 0.9, and 9.0 μg/h; 4 wk). PA axis reactivity and glucose homeostasis were characterized after CRH treatment and during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The elevated plasma profile of corticosterone after CRH stimulation in saline-treated OZR compared with LZR confirmed that the sensitization of the PA axis depended on leptin resistance. Irrespective of the rat strain, circulating ANG levels and blood pressure were selectively increased after administration of 9 μg/h ANG (high ANG). Only high ANG induced an elevation of the corticosterone and glucose response after CRH stimulation in OZR but did not affect the ACTH secretion. During OGTT, corticosterone and consequently glucose increased in OZR after high ANG, whereas the insulin secretion was decreased. In the adrenal glands of OZR, AT 1A receptor mRNA levels increased after high ANG. We conclude that the impairment of glucose utilization after ANG stimulation is potentiated in leptin-resistant rats as a result of a hyperreactive PA axis, thereby confirming the functional importance of a dysregulation within the HPA axis in metabolic syndrome or obesity. The ACTH-independent stimulation of corticosterone release and the selective increase of AT1A receptor mRNA in the adrenals of OZR indicated a sensitization of adrenals toward ANG, causing a stimulation of the PA axis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2007

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-17 Endocrinology, Diabetology, Metabolism


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