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.