Role of adipocyte PRR in obesity and hypertension

Frederique Yiannikouris, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences

The epidemic of obesity, currently affecting more than 30% of the population in the United States, has contributed to a dramatic rise in the prevalence of hypertension. Anti-hypertensive drugs are commonly used to treat hypertension but evidence indicates that the mortality rate is fully 42% higher in the hypertensive than in the normotensive population, underscoring the severity of the problem. According to recent findings released from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a blood pressure below 120 mmHg decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in adults. In this context, the identification of novel molecules/receptors involved in obesity and hypertension will allow us to better understand the link between obesity and hypertension and find novel therapeutic treatments for these highly prevalent diseases. Adipose tissue is an important source of elevated circulating concentrations of AngII, which contributes to hypertension in obese mice. While examining the component of the renin angiotensin system in adipocytes, I found that adipose tissue expresses prorenin-renin receptor (PRR). Previous studies focused on the functional role of PRR brain and kidney have involved PRR in the regulation of blood pressure and in the activation of an intracellular pathway involved in hypertrophy, fibrosis, contractility and apoptosis. Recent studies have also suggested a role of PRR in Wnt signaling and V-ATPase activity. However the function of PRR in adipocytes and the mechanism by which PRR is involved in obesity and hypertension is not known.  



Alan Daugherty, Ph.D., D.S.C.
Senior Associate Dean for Research
Director, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center
Chair, Physiology
Gill Foundation Chair in Preventive Cardiology
ATVB Editor-In-Chief






Suxia Wang, M.D., Ph.D. 
Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences
College of Medicine