Leptin and Aldosterone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


The prominence of obesity in the clinical population as well as the strong association of cardiovascular risk factors with obesity has prompted the investigation of the adipose tissue and its physiological contribution to cardiovascular health. A notable finding in these investigations was the discovery of the adipocyte-derived hormone leptin. Leptin is secreted from the adipose tissue, increases in linear fashion in the circulation with increased body mass and is implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease in obesity, notably via pro-hypertensive mechanisms. Leptin stimulates the activation of the sympathetic nervous system in male patients and mice, which has been implicated as the pro-hypertensive pathway for leptin in obesity. However, obese premenopausal females do not exhibit increased sympathetic activation in response to hyperleptinemia in obesity, indicating a sex-discrepancy in mechanisms of obesity-associated hypertension. Our lab recently demonstrated that leptin also induces the adrenal production of aldosterone in a direct fashion and that this pathway leads to the hyperaldosteronemia that is characteristic of obesity. We have also published data that indicate that the implications of leptin-induced aldosterone are of particular impact in obese females. Leptin-mediated hypertension and endothelial dysfunction, a significant predictor of hypertension clinically, require activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor in female mice. The clinical potential of this pathway remains under investigation; however, existing data indicate that a sex discrepancy exists in mechanisms of leptin-mediated hypertension between males and females and that leptin-stimulated aldosterone plays a significant role in females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAldosterone
EditorsGerald Litwack
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780128177822
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Publication series

NameVitamins and Hormones
ISSN (Print)0083-6729


  • Aldosterone
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Hypertension
  • Leptin
  • Mineralocorticoid receptor
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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