Insulin and angiotensin II are hormones that play pivotal roles in the control of two vital and closely related systems, the metabolic and the circulatory systems, respectively. A failure in the proper action of each of these hormones results, to a variable degree, in the development of two highly prevalent and commonly overlapping diseases - diabetes mellitus and hypertension. In recent years, a series of studies has revealed a tight connection between the signal transduction pathways that mediate insulin and angiotensin II actions in target tissues. This molecular cross-talk occurs at multiple levels and plays an important role in phenomena that range from the action of anti-hypertensive drugs to cardiac hypertrophy and energy acquisition by the heart. At the extracellular level, the angiotensin-converting enzyme controls angiotensin II synthesis but also interferes with insulin signaling through the proper regulation of angiotensin II and through the accumulation of bradykinin. At an early intracellular level, angiotensin II, acting through JAK-2/IRS-1/PI3-kinase, JNK and ERK, may induce the serine phosphorylation and inhibition of key elements of the insulin-signaling pathway. Finally, by inducing the expression of the regulatory protein SOCS-3, angiotensin II may impose a late control on the insulin signal. This review will focus on the main advances obtained in this field and will discuss the implications of this molecular cross-talk in the common clinical association between diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
- Cardiac hypertrophy
- Insulin resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism