ACE2 is expressed in mouse adipocytes and regulated by a high-fat diet

Manisha Gupte, Carine M. Boustany-Kari, Kalyani Bharadwaj, Sara Police, Sean Thatcher, Ming C. Gong, Victoria L. English, Lisa A. Cassis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Adipose tissue expresses components of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE2), a new component of the RAS, catabolizes the vasoconstrictor peptide ANG II to form the vasodilator angiotensin 1-7 [ANG-(1-7)]. We examined whether adipocytes express ACE2 and its regulation by manipulation of the RAS and by high-fat (HF) feeding. ACE2 mRNA expression increased (threefold) during differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes and was not regulated by manipulation of the RAS. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed low- (LF) or high-fat (HF) diets for 1 wk or 4 mo. At 1 wk of HF feeding, adipose expression of angiotensinogen (twofold) and ACE2 (threefold) increased, but systemic angiotensin peptide concentrations and blood pressure were not altered. At 4 mo of HF feeding, adipose mRNA expression of angiotensinogen (twofold) and ACE2 (threefold) continued to be elevated, and liver angiotensinogen expression increased (twofold). However, adipose tissue from HF mice did not exhibit elevated ACE2 protein or activity. Increased expression of ADAM17, a protease responsible for ACE2 shedding, coincided with reductions in ACE2 activity in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and an ADAM17 inhibitor decreased media ACE2 activity. Moreover, ADAM17 mRNA expression was increased in adipose tissue from 4-mo HF-fed mice, and plasma ACE2 activity increased. However, HF mice exhibited marked increases in plasma angiotensin peptide concentrations (LF: 2,141 ± 253; HF: 6,829 ± 1,075 pg/ml) and elevated blood pressure. These results demonstrate that adipocytes express ACE2 that is dysregulated in HF-fed mice with elevated blood pressure compared with LF controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R781-R788
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Angiotensin
  • Angiotensin I-converting enzyme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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