Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ Mutations Responsible for Lipodystrophy With Severe Hypertension Activate the Cellular Renin–Angiotensin System

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Inactivating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) mutations lead to a syndrome of familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD3) associated with early-onset severe hypertension. PPARγ can repress the vascular renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and angiotensin II receptor 1 expression. We evaluated the relationships between PPARγ inactivation and cellular RAS using FPLD3 patients’ cells and human vascular smooth muscle cells expressing mutant or wild-type PPARγ.

Approach and Results—

We identified 2 novel PPARG mutations, R165T and L339X, located in the DNA and ligand-binding domains of PPARγ, respectively in 4 patients from 2 FPLD3 families. In cultured skin fibroblasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the 4 patients and healthy controls, we compared markers of RAS activation, oxidative stress, and inflammation, and tested the effect of modulators of PPARγ and angiotensin II receptor 1. We studied the impact of the 2 mutations on the transcriptional activity of PPARγ and on the vascular RAS in transfected human vascular smooth muscle cells. Systemic RAS was not altered in patients. However, RAS markers were overexpressed in patients’ fibroblasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, as in vascular cells expressing mutant PPARγ. Angiotensin II–mediated mitogen-activated protein kinase activity increased in patients’ fibroblasts, consistent with RAS constitutive activation. Patients’ cells also displayed oxidative stress and inflammation. PPARγ activation and angiotensin II receptor 1 mRNA silencing reversed RAS overactivation, oxidative stress, and inflammation, arguing for a role of angiotensin II receptor 1 in these processes.


Two novel FPLD3-linked PPARG mutations are associated with a defective transrepression of cellular RAS leading to cellular dysfunction, which might contribute to the specific FPLD3-linked severe hypertension.

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