Selective Deletion of Renin-b in the Brain Alters Drinking and Metabolism

Keisuke Shinohara, Pablo Nakagawa, Javier Gomez, Donald A. Morgan, Nicole K. Littlejohn, Matthew D. Folchert, Benjamin J. Weidemann, Xuebo Liu, Susan A. Walsh, Laura L. Ponto, Kamal Rahmouni, Justin L. Grobe, Curt D. Sigmund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The brain-specific isoform of renin (Ren-b) has been proposed as a negative regulator of the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS). We analyzed mice with a selective deletion of Ren-b which preserved expression of the classical renin (Ren-a) isoform. We reported that Ren-bNull mice exhibited central RAS activation and hypertension through increased expression of Ren-a, but the dipsogenic and metabolic effects in Ren-bNull mice are unknown. Fluid intake was similar in control and Ren-bNull mice at baseline and both exhibited an equivalent dipsogenic response to deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt. Dehydration promoted increased water intake in Ren-bNull mice, particularly after deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt. Ren-bNull and control mice exhibited similar body weight when fed a chow diet. However, when fed a high-fat diet, male Ren-bNull mice gained significantly less weight than control mice, an effect blunted in females. This difference was not because of changes in food intake, energy absorption, or physical activity. Ren-bNull mice exhibited increased resting metabolic rate concomitant with increased uncoupled protein 1 expression and sympathetic nerve activity to the interscapular brown adipose tissue, suggesting increased thermogenesis. Ren-bNull mice were modestly intolerant to glucose and had normal insulin sensitivity. Another mouse model with markedly enhanced brain RAS activity (sRA mice) exhibited pronounced insulin sensitivity concomitant with increased brown adipose tissue glucose uptake. Altogether, these data support the hypothesis that the brain RAS regulates energy homeostasis by controlling resting metabolic rate, and that Ren-b deficiency increases brain RAS activity. Thus, the relative level of expression of Ren-b and Ren-a may control activity of the brain RAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-997
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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