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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.
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.
An rs3890011 variant of CYP4A11, which is in linkage disequilibrium with the loss-of-function variant rs1126742, is associated with hypertension in humans. In mice, Cyp4a deficiency results in salt-sensitive hypertension through activation of ENaC. We tested the hypothesis that the rs3890011 variant is associated with blood pressure response to drugs acting via the ENaC pathway. African Americans with volume-dependent, resistant hypertension were randomized to treatment with placebo, spironolactone, amiloride, or combination. Blood pressure responses were analyzed by CYP4A11 genotypes. Rs3890011 (GG:GC:CC = 20:35:28) and rs1126742 (TT:TC:CC = 45:31:7) were in linkage disequilibrium (D' = 1, r = 0.561). Expected small number of rs1126742 CC homozygotes precluded analysis of the effect of this genotype on treatment responses. Spironolactone reduced blood pressure in rs3890011 GG and GC individuals, but not in CC homozygotes (P = .002), whereas amiloride reduced blood pressure similarly in all rs3890011 genotypes. The antihypertensive effects of spironolactone and amiloride were comparable in GG and GC participants, but only amiloride reduced pressure in CC homozygotes (-6.3 ± 7.3/-3.2 ± 4.0 vs. +6.8 ± 7.9/+4.8 ± 8.6 mm Hg, P < .01/<.05). The aldosterone response to spironolactone was also blunted in the CC genotype. In individuals homozygous for the CYP4A11 rs3890011 C allele, blood pressure is resistant to mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism, but sensitive to ENaC inhibition, consistent with ENaC activation. Studies in a larger population are needed to replicate these findings.
Copyright © 2014 American Society of Hypertension. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - Aldosterone and the mineralocorticoid receptor contribute to resistant hypertension and cardiovascular mortality, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists effectively reduce these complications. Their use is limited in certain populations with a higher risk of hyperkalemia or renal dysfunction. This review will highlight recent developments in extra-renal mineralocorticoid receptor research and the development of novel mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists.
RECENT FINDINGS - Tissue-specific knockout-out models provide definitive evidence that the vascular mineralocorticoid receptor directly contributes to hypertension and vascular remodeling, independent of renal effects. Several nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists are in preclinical development or early-stage clinical trials. Several nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists have demonstrated preserved cardiovascular benefit with a reduced incidence of hyperkalemia in preclinical studies.
SUMMARY - Novel, potent nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists are in development, although their effect on cardiovascular and adverse drug events requires further investigation.
The steroid hormone aldosterone regulates sodium and potassium homeostasis. Aldosterone and activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor also causes inflammation and fibrosis of the heart, fibrosis and remodelling of blood vessels and tubulointerstitial fibrosis and glomerular injury in the kidney. Aldosterone and mineralocorticoid-receptor activation initiate an inflammatory response by increasing the generation of reactive oxygen species by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase and mitochondria. High salt intake potentiates these effects, in part by activating the Rho family member Rac1, a regulatory subunit of reduced NADPH oxidase that activates the mineralocorticoid receptor. Studies in mice in which the mineralocorticoid receptor has been deleted from specific cell types suggest a key role for macrophages in promoting inflammation and fibrosis. Aldosterone can exert mineralocorticoid-receptor-independent effects via the angiotensin II receptor and via G-protein-coupled receptor 30. Mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonists are associated with decreased mortality in patients with heart disease and show promise in patients with kidney injury, but can elevate serum potassium concentration. Studies in rodents genetically deficient in aldosterone synthase or treated with a pharmacological aldosterone-synthase inhibitor are providing insight into the relative contribution of aldosterone compared with the contribution of mineralocorticoid-receptor activation in inflammation, fibrosis, and injury. Aldosterone-synthase inhibitors are under development in humans.
Angiotensin II causes cardiovascular injury in part by aldosterone-induced mineralocorticoid receptor activation, and it can also activate the mineralocorticoid receptor in the absence of aldosterone in vitro. Here we tested whether endogenous aldosterone contributes to angiotensin II/salt-induced cardiac, vascular, and renal injury by the mineralocorticoid receptor. Aldosterone synthase knockout mice and wild-type littermates were treated with angiotensin II or vehicle plus the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone or regular diet while drinking 0.9% saline. Angiotensin II/salt caused hypertension in both the knockout and wild-type mice, an effect significantly blunted in the knockout mice. Either genetic aldosterone deficiency or mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism reduced cardiac hypertrophy, aortic remodeling, and albuminuria, as well as cardiac, aortic, and renal plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 mRNA expression during angiotensin II treatment. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism reduced angiotensin II/salt-induced glomerular hypertrophy, but aldosterone deficiency did not. Combined mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism and aldosterone deficiency reduced blood urea nitrogen and restored nephrin immunoreactivity. Angiotensin II/salt also promoted glomerular injury through the mineralocorticoid receptor in the absence of aldosterone. Thus, mineralocorticoid antagonism may have protective effects in the kidney beyond aldosterone synthase inhibition.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - Aldosterone causes tissue inflammation leading to fibrosis and remodeling in the heart, vasculature, and kidney. We summarize recent data regarding the mechanism(s) through which aldosterone stimulates inflammation.
RECENT FINDINGS - Studies elucidate the cell-specific effects of mineralocorticoid receptor activation on inflammatory cell infiltration and adhesion, and highlight the role of the macrophage in the development of vascular collagen deposition and hypertension. Activation of nuclear factor-kappaB in vascular smooth muscle cells involves a complex interplay between the angiotensin subtype 1 (AT1) receptor and the mineralocorticoid receptor. Activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor by aldosterone stimulates an inflammatory phenotype in adipocytes and contributes to insulin resistance by increasing oxidative stress.
SUMMARY - Mechanistic studies of aldosterone-induced inflammation provide the rationale for an expanded therapeutic role for mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and aldosterone synthase inhibitors.
In the setting of high salt intake, aldosterone stimulates fibrosis in the heart, great vessels, and kidney of rats. We used uninephrectomized rats treated with angiotensin II and placed on a high salt diet to exaggerate renal fibrosis. We then tested whether mineralocorticoid receptor blockade by spironolactone or aldosterone synthase inhibition by FAD286 have similar effects on end-organ damage and gene expression. Individually, both drugs prevented the hypertensive response to uninephrectomy and high salt intake but not when angiotensin II was administered. Following 4 weeks of treatment with FAD286, plasma aldosterone was reduced, whereas spironolactone increased aldosterone at 8 weeks of treatment. Angiotensin II and high salt treatment caused albuminuria, azotemia, renovascular hypertrophy, glomerular injury, increased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and osteopontin mRNA expression, as well as tubulointerstitial fibrosis in the kidney. Both drugs prevented these renal effects and attenuated cardiac and aortic medial hypertrophy while reducing osteopontin and transforming growth factor-beta mRNA expression in the aorta. The two drugs also reduced cardiac interstitial fibrosis but had no effect on that of the perivascular region. Although spironolactone enhanced angiotensin II and salt-stimulated PAI-1 mRNA expression in aorta and heart, spironolactone and FAD286 prevented renal PAI-1 mRNA protein expression. Our study shows that mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism and aldosterone synthase inhibition similarly decrease hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis of the kidney and heart caused by angiotensin II and high salt.
Aldosterone concentrations are inappropriately high in many patients with hypertension, as well as in an increasing number of individuals with metabolic syndrome and sleep apnoea. A growing body of evidence suggests that aldosterone and/or activation of the MR (mineralocorticoid receptor) contributes to cardiovascular remodelling and renal injury in these conditions. In addition to causing sodium retention and increased blood pressure, MR activation induces oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation and subsequent fibrosis. The MR may be activated by aldosterone and cortisol or via transactivation by the AT(1) (angiotenin II type 1) receptor through a mechanism involving the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) and MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathway. In addition, aldosterone can generate rapid non-genomic effects in the heart and vasculature. MR antagonism reduces mortality in patients with CHF (congestive heart failure) and following myocardial infarction. MR antagonism improves endothelial function in patients with CHF, reduces circulating biomarkers of cardiac fibrosis in CHF or following myocardial infarction, reduces blood pressure in resistant hypertension and decreases albuminuria in hypertensive and diabetic patients. In contrast, whereas adrenalectomy improves glucose homoeostasis in hyperaldosteronism, MR antagonism may worsen glucose homoeostasis and impairs endothelial function in diabetes, suggesting a possible detrimental effect of aldosterone via non-genomic pathways.