VLDL-activated cell signaling pathways that stimulate adrenal cell aldosterone production

Ying Ying Tsai, William E. Rainey, Maribeth H. Johnson, Wendy B. Bollag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Aldosterone plays an important role in regulating ion and fluid homeostasis and thus blood pressure, and hyperaldosteronism results in hypertension. Hypertension is also observed with obesity, which is associated with additional health risks, including cardiovascular disease. Obese individuals have high serum levels of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), which has been shown to stimulate aldosterone production; however, the mechanisms underlying VLDL-induced aldosterone production are still unclear. Here we demonstrate in human adrenocortical carcinoma (HAC15) cells that submaximal concentrations of angiotensin II and VLDL stimulate aldosterone production in an additive fashion, suggesting the possibility of common mechanisms of action. We show using inhibitors that VLDL-induced aldosterone production is mediated by the PLC/IP3/PKC signaling pathway. Our results suggest that PKC is upstream of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation previously observed with VLDL. An understanding of the mechanisms mediating VLDL-induced aldosterone production may provide insights into therapies to treat obesity-associated hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - Sep 15 2016


  • Adrenal cortex
  • Aldosterone
  • Obesity
  • Phospholipase C
  • Protein kinase C
  • VLDL
  • Zona glomerulosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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