Interactions of the adrenal glands with adipose tissue

Janella León, Atil Kargi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Adipose tissue and the adrenal glands both play fundamental roles in the regulation of normal physiology and in the development of metabolic pathology. There has been an increasing awareness of the complex interactions between adipose tissue and the adrenal glands. Adipose tissue-derived efferent signals are implicated in a variety of alterations in adrenal function. Adipocyte-derived secretory products such as adiponectin and leptin have direct effects on adrenfal steroidogenesis, glucocorticoid metabolism, adrenal medullary catecholamine output and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. Moreover, glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids likely play a crucial role in the development of obesity and insulin resistance through elaborate mechanisms. Augmenting the effects of adrenal steroid hormones on adipose tissue is the enhanced activity of the mineralocorticoid receptor in adipocytes. Elevated adrenal steroid levels have been associated with weight gain, changes in body fat distribution and alterations in circulating levels of several adipose tissue hormones, or “adipokines." In this chapter, we summarize the current literature regarding the two-way communication between the adrenal glands and adipose tissue; emphasizing the possible mechanisms of interactions between these two endocrine organs and its relevance to the pathogenesis of obesity and associated comorbidities, metabolic syndrome, and in primary adrenal disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdrenal Glands: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Evidence
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781634835701
ISBN (Print)9781634835503
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Adipokines
  • Adipose tissue
  • Adrenal glands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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