Angiotensin II causes weight loss and decreases circulating insulin-like growth factor I in rats through a pressor-independent mechanism

Marijke Brink, Jason Wellen, Patrick Delafontaine

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231 Scopus citations


The renin-angiotensin system regulates normal cardiovascular homeostasis and is activated in certain forms of hypertension and in heart failure. Angiotensin II has multiple physiological effects and we have shown recently that its growth-promoting effects on vascular smooth muscle require autocrine activation of the IGF I receptor. To study the effect of angiotensin II on circulating IGF I, we infused rats with 500 ng/kg/min angiotensin II for up to 14 d. Angiotensin II markedly reduced plasma IGF I levels (56 and 41% decrease at 1 and 2 wk, respectively) and IGF binding protein-3 levels, and increased IGF binding protein-2 levels, a pattern suggestive of dietary restriction. Compared with sham, angiotensin II-infused hypertensive rats lost 18-26% of body weight by 1 wk, and pair-feeding experiments indicated that 74% of this loss was attributable to a reduction in food intake. The vasodilator hydralazine and the AT1 receptor antagonist losartan had comparable effects to reverse angiotensin II-induced hypertension, but only losartan blocked the changes in body weight and in circulating IGF I and its binding proteins produced by angiotensin II. Moreover, in Dahl rats that were hypertensive in response to a high-salt diet, none of these changes occurred. Thus, angiotensin II produces weight loss through a pressor-independent mechanism that includes a marked anorexigenic effect and an additional (likely metabolic) effect. These findings have profound implications for understanding the pathophysiology of conditions, such as congestive heart failure, in which the renin-angiotensin system is activated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2509-2516
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996


  • IGF binding proteins
  • congestive heart failure
  • hypertension
  • metabolism
  • receptors, growth factor


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