Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Cassis


Adipocytes express angiotensin II (AngII) receptors; however the direct effects of AngII at the adipocyte remain unclear. Knockout mouse models of renin-angiotensin system components exhibit reduced body weight, reduced adiposity, improved glucose tolerance, and improved blood pressure when fed high fat diets, which may be due to reduced action of AngII through the AT1aR in adipocytes. Additionally, hypercholesterolemic AT1aR deficient mice are protected from AngII-induced increases in atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formation. We hypothesized that deficiency of AT1aR in adipocytes would reduce the development of obesity, obesity-induced disorders, and vascular diseases. To test this hypothesis, we created a mouse model of adipocyte AT1aR deficiency using the Cre/LoxP system. Adipocyte-AT1aR deficiency confers no protection from the development of obesity or obesity- associated parameters. However, low fat fed adipocyte-AT1aR deficient mice exhibit remarkable adipocyte hypertrophy and reductions in adipocyte differentiation. These results demonstrate that AngII is a stimulus for adipocyte differentiation and adipocyte hypertrophy alone is insufficient to initiate obesity- associated disorders. In hypercholesterolemic mice, adipocyte AT1aR deficiency conferred no protection from diet or AngII-induced vascular diseases. Overall these studies suggest the primary role of adipocyte AT1aRs is to promote adipocyte differentiation and the development of small adipocytes.