Factors Responsible for Obesity-Related Hypertension

  • Kyungjoon Lim
  • Kristy L. Jackson
  • Yusuke Sata
  • Geoffrey A. HeadEmail author
Secondary Hypertension: Nervous System Mechanisms (M Wyss, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Secondary Hypertension: Nervous System Mechanisms


Purpose of Review

The major health issue of being overweight or obese relates to the development of hypertension, insulin resistance and diabetic complications. One of the major underlying factors influencing the elevated blood pressure in obesity is increased activity of the sympathetic nerves to particular organs such as the kidney.

Recent Findings

There is now convincing evidence from animal studies that major signals such as leptin and insulin have a sympathoexcitatory action in the hypothalamus to cause hypertension. Recent studies suggest that this may involve ‘neural plasticity’ within hypothalamic signalling driven by central actions of leptin mediated via activation of melanocortin receptor signalling and activation of brain neurotrophic factors.


This review describes the evidence to support the contribution of the SNS to obesity related hypertension and the major metabolic and adipokine signals.


Hypertension Obesity Insulin Leptin Central nervous system Sympathetic nervous system Hypothalamus High fat diet Aversive stress Blood pressure 



This work was supported by grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC; APP526618 and APP1043205). The study was supported, in part, by the Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program. G.A. Head was funded by an NHMRC Fellowship (APP1002186). KL was funded by an NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (APP1053928). KLJ was funded by an NHMRC Fellowship (APP1091688). YS was funded by a Heart Foundation Fellowship and Japan Heart Foundation/Bayer Yakuhin Research Grant Abroad, and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP 25·5473.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Drs. Jackson, Lim and Head report grants from NHMRC and National Heart Foundation. Dr. Sata reports grants from Heart Foundation, Japan Heart Foundation/Bayer Yakuhin and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

K Lim, KL Jackson, Y Sata and GA Head declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of Importance •• Of Major Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyungjoon Lim
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kristy L. Jackson
    • 2
  • Yusuke Sata
    • 2
    • 4
  • Geoffrey A. Head
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Anatomy & MicrobiologyLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Neuropharmacology LaboratoryBaker Heart & Diabetes InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  4. 4.Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  5. 5.Department of PharmacologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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