Background and Objective: Obesity is highly complicated by hypertension and hyperglycemia. In particular, it has been proposed that obesity-related hypertension is caused by adipocyte-derived factors that are recognized as undetermined proteins secreted from adipocytes. Adipocyte-derived factors have been known to be related to aldosterone secretion in the adrenal gland. So far, Wnt proteins, CTRP-1, VLDL, LDL, HDL and leptin have been demonstrated to stimulate aldosterone secretion. In contrast, it has not yet been clarified whether adipocyte-derived factors also affect adrenal cortisol secretion. Methods and Results: In the present study, we investigated the effect of adipocyte-derived factors on cortisol synthase gene CYP11B1 mRNA expression in vitro study using adrenocortical carcinoma H295R cells and mouse fibroblast 3T3-L1cells. Interestingly, adipocyte-derived factors were demonstrated to have the ability to stimulate CYP11B1 mRNA expression. Conclusion: Since CYP11B1 is well known as a limiting enzyme of cortisol synthesis, our study suggests that adipocyte-derived factors may stimulate cortisol secretion, as well as aldosterone secretion. Taken together, adipocyte-derived factors may be the cause of metabolic syndrome due to their stimulating effects on aldosterone/cortisol secretion. Therefore, the innovation of novel drugs against them may possibly be a new approach against metabolic syndrome.
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