Millions of people suffer from obesity and the concomitant susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. This project is based on the observation that a key feature of obesity is hyperactivity of the renin-angiotensin- system (RAS). Angiotensin-ll (ANGII), the effector peptide of the RAS, exerts peripheral effects that promote increased energy storage and elevate blood pressure. Although the peripheral actions of the RAS have been studied extensively, the role of ANGII in the neural regulation of energy balance is unclear. Unlike what occurs in the periphery, ANGII promotes negative energy balance in the central nervous system (CNS). Captopril, a drug that blocks the formation of ANGII (i.e., an angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitor, resulting in increased plasma ANGI), reduces blood pressure and favors weight loss. However, because captopril does not enter the brain to reduce CNS ACE activity, the increased ANGI is converted locally to ANGII by brain-generated ACE. Increased CNS ANGII results in decreased body weight that is partially explained by alterations in food intake. In contrast, administration of captopril directly into the CNS inhibits brain-generated ACE and reduces CNS ANGII, resulting in increased food intake and implying that the CNS RAS normally influences body weight regulation. However, the role of altered energy expenditure and the underlying mechanism(s) of captopril-induced negative energy balance have not been unequivocally discerned. The proposed experiments will utilize rats to test the overall hypothesis that ANGII plays a key role in the neural control of energy balance by acting to promote negative energy balance via angiotensin receptor type-1 (ATI) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. First, we will test the hypothesis that systemic ACE inhibition (via captopril) results in decreased food intake, increased energy expenditure and altered cardiovascular tone, in part, by increasing central ANGII. Second, we will use a lentiviral vector containing ATI antisense oligonucleotides in order to downregulate AT1 expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and thereby test the hypothesis that this ATI population is necessary for maintaining basal energy balance and for captopril-induced negative energy balance. Body weight, body composition, food intake, energy expenditure (indirect calorimetry), cardiovascular function (telemetry), plasma norepinephrine and the expression of corticotrophin-releasing hormone in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus will be assessed. The significance of the proposed research is that it may lead to development of novel therapeutics to treat or prevent obesity while also preventing concomitant hypertension, diabetes and stroke.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F06-E (20))
Program Officer
Mitler, Merrill
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Cincinnati
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
de Kloet, Annette D; Krause, Eric G; Solomon, Matia B et al. (2015) Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling. Psychoneuroendocrinology 56:110-9
de Kloet, Annette D; Pati, Dipanwita; Wang, Lei et al. (2013) Angiotensin type 1a receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus protect against diet-induced obesity. J Neurosci 33:4825-33
Krause, Eric G; de Kloet, Annette D; Flak, Jonathan N et al. (2011) Hydration state controls stress responsiveness and social behavior. J Neurosci 31:5470-6
Krause, Eric G; de Kloet, Annette D; Scott, Karen A et al. (2011) Blood-borne angiotensin II acts in the brain to influence behavioral and endocrine responses to psychogenic stress. J Neurosci 31:15009-15
de Kloet, Annette D; Pacheco-Lopez, Gustavo; Langhans, Wolfgang et al. (2011) The effect of TNFýý on food intake and central insulin sensitivity in rats. Physiol Behav 103:17-20
de Kloet, Annette D; Woods, Stephen C (2010) Molecular neuroendocrine targets for obesity therapy. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 17:441-5
de Kloet, Annette D; Krause, Eric G; Woods, Stephen C (2010) The renin angiotensin system and the metabolic syndrome. Physiol Behav 100:525-34