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Hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis that are out of proportion to changes in glomerular filtration rate defines type 4 renal tubular acidosis (RTA), the most common RTA observed, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the associated metabolic acidosis are incompletely understood. We sought to determine whether hyperkalemia directly causes metabolic acidosis and, if so, the mechanisms through which this occurs. We studied a genetic model of hyperkalemia that results from early distal convoluted tubule (DCT)-specific overexpression of constitutively active Ste20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (DCT-CA-SPAK). DCT-CA-SPAK mice developed hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis and suppressed ammonia excretion; however, titratable acid excretion and urine pH were unchanged compared with those in wild-type mice. Abnormal ammonia excretion in DCT-CA-SPAK mice associated with decreased proximal tubule expression of the ammonia-generating enzymes phosphate-dependent glutaminase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and overexpression of the ammonia-recycling enzyme glutamine synthetase. These mice also had decreased expression of the ammonia transporter family member Rhcg and decreased apical polarization of H-ATPase in the inner stripe of the outer medullary collecting duct. Correcting the hyperkalemia by treatment with hydrochlorothiazide corrected the metabolic acidosis, increased ammonia excretion, and normalized ammoniagenic enzyme and Rhcg expression in DCT-CA-SPAK mice. In wild-type mice, induction of hyperkalemia by administration of the epithelial sodium channel blocker benzamil caused hyperkalemia and suppressed ammonia excretion. Hyperkalemia decreases proximal tubule ammonia generation and collecting duct ammonia transport, leading to impaired ammonia excretion that causes metabolic acidosis.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.
The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and its downstream signaling play an important role in hypertensive renal injury. The interaction of advanced glycation end products (AGE) with their receptor (RAGE) is involved in the progression of renal disease. However, the pathological crosstalk between AGE-RAGE axis and MR system in kidney derangement remains unclear. We screened DNA-aptamer directed against RAGE (RAGE-apt) in vitro and examined its effects on renal injury in uninephrectomized deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)/salt-induced hypertensive mice. RAGE, GTP-bound Rac-1 (Rac1), and MR were co-localized in the podocytes of DOCA mice. The deletion of RAGE gene significantly inhibited mesangial matrix expansion and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in DOCA mice, which was associated with the reduction of glomerular oxidative stress, MR, Rac1, and urinary albumin excretion (UAE) levels. RAGE-apt attenuated the increase in carboxymethyllysine (CML), RAGE, nitrotyrosine, Rac1, and MR levels in the kidneys and reduced UAE in DOCA mice. Aldosterone (Aldo) increased nitrotyrosine, CML, and RAGE gene expression in murine podocytes, whereas CML stimulated MR and Rac1 levels, which were blocked by RAGE-apt. The present study indicates the crosstalk between the AGE-RAGE axis and Aldo-MR system, suggesting that RAGE-apt may be a novel therapeutic tool for the treatment of MR-associated renal diseases.
Background - Primary aldosteronism is recognized as a severe form of renin-independent aldosteronism that results in excessive mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation.
Objective - To investigate whether a spectrum of subclinical renin-independent aldosteronism that increases risk for hypertension exists among normotensive persons.
Design - Cohort study.
Setting - National community-based study.
Participants - 850 untreated normotensive participants in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) with measurements of serum aldosterone and plasma renin activity (PRA).
Measurements - Longitudinal analyses investigated whether aldosterone concentrations, in the context of physiologic PRA phenotypes (suppressed, ≤0.50 µg/L per hour; indeterminate, 0.51 to 0.99 µg/L per hour; unsuppressed, ≥1.0 µg/L per hour), were associated with incident hypertension (defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, or initiation of antihypertensive medications). Cross-sectional analyses investigated associations between aldosterone and MR activity, assessed via serum potassium and urinary fractional excretion of potassium.
Results - A suppressed renin phenotype was associated with a higher rate of incident hypertension than other PRA phenotypes (incidence rates per 1000 person-years of follow-up: suppressed renin phenotype, 85.4 events [95% CI, 73.4 to 99.3 events]; indeterminate renin phenotype, 53.3 events [CI, 42.8 to 66.4 events]; unsuppressed renin phenotype, 54.5 events [CI, 41.8 to 71.0 events]). With renin suppression, higher aldosterone concentrations were independently associated with an increased risk for incident hypertension, whereas no association between aldosterone and hypertension was seen when renin was not suppressed. Higher aldosterone concentrations were associated with lower serum potassium and higher urinary excretion of potassium, but only when renin was suppressed.
Limitation - Sodium and potassium were measured several years before renin and aldosterone.
Conclusion - Suppression of renin and higher aldosterone concentrations in the context of this renin suppression are associated with an increased risk for hypertension and possibly also with increased MR activity. These findings suggest a clinically relevant spectrum of subclinical primary aldosteronism (renin-independent aldosteronism) in normotension.
Primary Funding Source - National Institutes of Health.
Aberrant activation of with no lysine (WNK) kinases causes familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt). Thiazide diuretics treat the disease, fostering the view that hyperactivation of the thiazide-sensitive sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC) in the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is solely responsible. However, aberrant signaling in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN) and inhibition of the potassium-excretory renal outer medullary potassium (ROMK) channel have also been implicated. To test these ideas, we introduced kinase-activating mutations after Lox-P sites in the mouse gene, which encodes the terminal kinase in the WNK signaling pathway, Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK). Renal expression of the constitutively active (CA)-SPAK mutant was specifically targeted to the early DCT using a DCT-driven Cre recombinase. CA-SPAK mice displayed thiazide-treatable hypertension and hyperkalemia, concurrent with NCC hyperphosphorylation. However, thiazide-mediated inhibition of NCC and consequent restoration of sodium excretion did not immediately restore urinary potassium excretion in CA-SPAK mice. Notably, CA-SPAK mice exhibited ASDN remodeling, involving a reduction in connecting tubule mass and attenuation of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and ROMK expression and apical localization. Blocking hyperactive NCC in the DCT gradually restored ASDN structure and ENaC and ROMK expression, concurrent with the restoration of urinary potassium excretion. These findings verify that NCC hyperactivity underlies FHHt but also reveal that NCC-dependent changes in the driving force for potassium secretion are not sufficient to explain hyperkalemia. Instead, a DCT-ASDN coupling process controls potassium balance in health and becomes aberrantly activated in FHHt.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
BACKGROUND - Conservative fluid management increases ventilator-free days without influencing overall mortality in acute respiratory distress syndrome. Plasma concentrations of B-type natriuretic peptide (a marker of ventricular filling) or aldosterone (a marker of effective circulating volume) may identify patients for whom fluid management impacts survival.
METHODS - This was a retrospective analysis of the Fluid and Catheter Treatment Trial (FACTT), a randomized trial comparing conservative with liberal fluid management in acute respiratory distress syndrome. Using plasma collected at study enrollment, we measured B-type natriuretic peptide and aldosterone by immunoassay. Multivariable analyses examined the interaction between B-type natriuretic peptide or aldosterone concentration and fluid strategy with regard to 60-day in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS - Among 625 patients with adequate plasma, median B-type natriuretic peptide concentration was 825 pg/mL (interquartile range, 144-1,574 pg/mL), and median aldosterone was 2.49 ng/dL (interquartile range, 1.1-4.3 ng/dL). B-type natriuretic peptide did not predict overall mortality, correlate with fluid balance, or modify the effect of conservative vs liberal fluid management on outcomes. In contrast, among patients with lower aldosterone concentrations, conservative fluid management increased ventilator-free days (17.1 ± 9.8 vs 12.5 ± 10.3, P < .001) and decreased mortality (19% vs 30%, P = .03) (P value for interaction = .01).
CONCLUSIONS - In acute respiratory distress syndrome, B-type natriuretic peptide does not modify the effect of fluid management on outcomes. Lower initial aldosterone appears to identify patients for whom conservative fluid management may improve mortality.
Copyright © 2016 American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - This review will highlight recent developments in mineralocorticoid receptor research which impact aldosterone-associated vascular and cardiometabolic dysfunction.
RECENT FINDINGS - The mineralocorticoid receptor is also expressed in vascular smooth muscle and vascular endothelium, and contributes to vascular function and remodeling. Adipocyte-derived leptin stimulates aldosterone secretion, which may explain the observed link between obesity and hyperaldosteronism. Adipocyte mineralocorticoid receptor overexpression produces systemic changes consistent with metabolic syndrome. Ongoing studies with novel nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists may provide a novel treatment for diabetic nephropathy and heart failure in patients with chronic kidney disease, with reduced risk of hyperkalemia.
SUMMARY - Ongoing research continues to demonstrate novel roles of the vascular and adipocyte mineralocorticoid receptor function, which may explain the beneficial metabolic and vascular benefits of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists.
Urinary exosomes secreted by multiple cell types in the kidney may participate in intercellular signaling and provide an enriched source of kidney-specific proteins for biomarker discovery. Factors that alter the exosomal protein content remain unknown. To determine whether endogenous and exogenous hormones modify urinary exosomal protein content, we analyzed samples from 14 mildly hypertensive patients in a crossover study during a high-sodium (HS, 160 mmol/d) diet and low-sodium (LS, 20 mmol/d) diet to activate the endogenous renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. We further analyzed selected exosomal protein content in a separate cohort of healthy persons receiving intravenous aldosterone (0.7 μg/kg per hour for 10 hours) versus vehicle infusion. The LS diet increased plasma renin activity and aldosterone concentration, whereas aldosterone infusion increased only aldosterone concentration. Protein analysis of paired urine exosome samples by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based multidimensional protein identification technology detected 2775 unique proteins, of which 316 exhibited significantly altered abundance during LS diet. Sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) and α- and γ-epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) subunits from the discovery set were verified using targeted multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry quantified with isotope-labeled peptide standards. Dietary sodium restriction or acute aldosterone infusion similarly increased urine exosomal γENaC[112-122] peptide concentrations nearly 20-fold, which correlated with plasma aldosterone concentration and urinary Na/K ratio. Urine exosomal NCC and αENaC concentrations were relatively unchanged during these interventions. We conclude that urinary exosome content is altered by renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation. Urinary measurement of exosomal γENaC[112-122] concentration may provide a useful biomarker of ENaC activation in future clinical studies.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) plays an important role in maintaining blood pressure. Aldosterone is known to modulate NCC abundance. Previous studies reported that dietary salts modulated NCC abundance through either WNK4 [with no lysine (k) kinase 4]-SPAK (Ste20-related proline alanine-rich kinase) or WNK4-extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1 and -2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathways. To exclude the influence of SPAK signaling pathway on the role of the aldosterone-mediated ERK1/2 pathway in NCC regulation, we investigated the effects of dietary salt changes and aldosterone on NCC abundance in SPAK knockout (KO) mice. We found that in SPAK KO mice low-salt diet significantly increased total NCC abundance while reducing ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas high-salt diet decreased total NCC while increasing ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Importantly, exogenous aldosterone administration increased total NCC abundance in SPAK KO mice while increasing DUSP6 expression, an ERK1/2-specific phosphatase, and led to decreasing ERK1/2 phosphorylation without changing the ratio of phospho-T53-NCC/total NCC. In mouse distal convoluted tubule (mDCT) cells, aldosterone increased DUSP6 expression while reducing ERK1/2 phosphorylation. DUSP6 Knockdown increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation while reducing total NCC expression. Inhibition of DUSP6 by (E)-2-benzylidene-3-(cyclohexylamino)-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-one increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation and reversed the aldosterone-mediated increments of NCC partly by increasing NCC ubiquitination. Therefore, these data suggest that aldosterone modulates NCC abundance via altering NCC ubiquitination through a DUSP6-dependent ERK1/2 signal pathway in SPAK KO mice and part of the effects of dietary salt changes may be mediated by aldosterone in the DCTs.
CONTEXT - Aldosterone and PTH are implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and skeletal diseases. An expanding body of evidence supports a bidirectional and positive physiologic relationship between aldosterone and PTH. Large population-based studies confirming this relationship, and whether it may be targeted as a potential method to mitigate the clinical consequences associated with excess aldosterone and PTH, are needed.
OBJECTIVE - We hypothesized that higher aldosterone levels would associate with higher PTH, and that the use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors would predict lower PTH in a large, multi-ethnic, community-based cohort.
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS - We conducted cross-sectional analyses of participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis without apparent primary hyperparathyroidism or chronic kidney disease (n = 5668). We evaluated associations of RAAS inhibitor use with PTH concentration among 1888 treated hypertensive participants. We also tested associations of serum aldosterone concentration with PTH concentration among 1547 participants with these measurements.
OUTCOME - Serum PTH concentration.
RESULTS - Higher aldosterone associated with higher PTH (β = 0.19 pg/ml per 1 ng/dl of aldosterone, P < .0001), and this finding was most pronounced among those with a primary hyperaldosteronism-like phenotype. There was a stepwise increment in PTH when comparing untreated normotensives, hypertensives using RAAS inhibitors, untreated hypertensives, and treated hypertensives using non-RAAS inhibitors (40.8, 45.0, 46.2, 47.1 pg/ml, respectively). The use of any RAAS inhibitor independently associated with lower PTH (β = -2.327 pg/ml per use of RAAS inhibitor, P = .006), when compared with the use of any non-RAAS inhibitor medication.
CONCLUSIONS - Higher serum aldosterone concentration is associated with higher serum PTH concentration, and the use of RAAS inhibitors is associated with lower PTH concentration. These results extend prior evidence from observational and intervention studies suggesting a potentially important and modifiable relationship between the RAAS and PTH in humans.
Dr. Conn originally reported an increased risk of diabetes in patients with hyperaldosteronism in the 1950s, although the mechanism remains unclear. Aldosterone-induced hypokalemia was initially described to impair glucose tolerance by impairing insulin secretion. Correction of hypokalemia by potassium supplementation only partially restored insulin secretion and glucose tolerance, however. Aldosterone also impairs glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in isolated pancreatic islets via reactive oxygen species in a mineralocorticoid receptor-independent manner. Aldosterone-induced mineralocorticoid receptor activation also impairs insulin sensitivity in adipocytes and skeletal muscle. Aldosterone may produce insulin resistance secondarily by altering potassium, increasing inflammatory cytokines, and reducing beneficial adipokines such as adiponectin. Renin-angiotensin system antagonists reduce circulating aldosterone concentrations and also the risk of type 2 diabetes in clinical trials. These data suggest that primary and secondary hyperaldosteronism may contribute to worsening glucose tolerance by impairing insulin sensitivity or insulin secretion in humans. Future studies should define the effects of MR antagonists and aldosterone on insulin secretion and sensitivity in humans.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.