Insulin-resistant lipolysis in abdominally obese hypertensive individuals: Role of the renin-angiotensin system

Magda M I Hennes, Irene M. O'Shaughnessy, Thomas M. Kelly, Patrice LaBelle, Brent M. Egan, Ahmed H. Kissebah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Resistance to the capacity of insulin to suppress lipolysis may be an important link in the association between abdominal obesity and hypertension. Furthermore, a more active renin-angiotensin system in adipose tissue may contribute to insulin-resistant lipolysis in abdominally obese hypertensive subjects. We determined nonesterified fatty acid concentrations and turnover as well as lipid oxidation under basal conditions and during steady-state euglycemia with two levels of insulinemia (72 and 287 pmol/L) in lean normotensive, abdominally obese normotensive, and abdominally obese hypertensive subjects. To assess the role of the renin-angiotensin system in determining nonesterified fatty acid turnover, we repeated studies in the abdominally obese hypertensive subjects after double-blind random assignment to placebo or enalapril for 1 month each. The main findings were the following: (1) Nonesterified fatty acid flux was significantly higher in abdominally obese hypertensive subjects at both levels of insulinemia than in either abdominally obese normotensive or lean normotensive subjects and correlated significantly with both incan blood pressure and total systemic resistance during the higher level of insulinemia. (2) Enalapril significantly improved insulin-resistant lipolysis in the abdominally obese hypertensive subjects. The improvement in insulin suppressibility of nonesterified fatty acid flux at the high hormonal concentrations correlated positively with the magnitude of reduction in blood pressure. (3) Basal lipid oxidation and suppression in response to insulin were similarly impaired in both obese groups. Resistance to the antilipolytic actions of insulin is thus a characteristic feature in abdominally obese hypertensive subjects and may be linked to the elevated blood pressure in these individuals. A more active renin angiotensin system may partly explain the insulin resistant lipolysis in this form of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1996


  • calorimetry, indirect
  • fatty acids
  • insulin resistance
  • obesity
  • renin- angiotensin system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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