Aldosterone, not estradiol, is the physiological agonist for rapid increases in cAMP in vascular smooth muscle cells. (1/612)

BACKGROUND: Steroid-induced gene regulation in the endocrine tissues and vascular wall is achieved through the interaction of specific receptor proteins and promoters of target genes. In addition to these delayed steroid actions, rapid effects of steroids have been reported in various tissues that were clearly incompatible with the classic theory of genomic steroid action. METHODS AND RESULTS: Because high doses of 17beta-estradiol have been shown to modulate intracellular cAMP levels in vascular smooth muscle cells, steroid-induced stimulation of adenylate cyclase stimulation and phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein was investigated in porcine coronary artery vascular smooth muscle cells. Aldosterone induces a approximately 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in intracellular cAMP levels (EC50 approximately 0.01 to 0.1 nmol/L) within 1 minute, whereas 17beta-estradiol and hydrocortisone act only at supraphysiological concentrations (10 micromol/L). Aldosterone-induced changes in intracellular cAMP are calcium dependent; they are not blocked by inhibitors of mineralocorticoid receptors, transcription, or protein synthesis. In addition, aldosterone induces a time-dependent phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding protein with potential transcriptional importance. CONCLUSIONS: A nongenomic modulation of vascular smooth muscle cells by aldosterone is consistent with the data that aldosterone, not estrogen, is the physiological stimulus for cAMP.  (+info)

Effects of spironolactone and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor on left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with essential hypertension. (2/612)

There is increasing evidence for important cardiovascular effects of aldosterone via classical mineralocorticoid receptors in the heart. Administration of aldosterone with excess salt produces both cardiac hypertrophy and interstitial cardiac fibrosis in rats, and concomitant administration of potassium canrenoate at a dose that only modestly lowers blood pressure completely blocks the cardiac effects of aldosterone. In the present study, we examined the effect on left ventricular hypertrophy of adding a low dose of the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone (25 mg/d) to an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (enalapril maleate) in patients with essential hypertension. Eighteen untreated patients with moderate to severe essential hypertension based on the WHO/ISH guidelines participated in this study. Subjects were treated with either an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor alone (group I: 10 patients, 4 men and 6 women, mean age 56 +/- 18 yr) or an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor plus spironolactone (group II: 8 patients, 3 men and 5 women, mean age 59 +/- 14 yr) for 9 mo. Left ventricular mass index, various echocardiographic variables, mean blood pressure, plasma renin activity, and plasma aldosterone concentration before treatment were similar in the two groups. Blood pressure of both groups decreased significantly and similarly after antihypertensive treatment (group I, 136 +/- 9/82 +/- 9 mmHg; group II, 133 +/- 9/85 +/- 10 mmHg). Left ventricular mass index also decreased significantly in both groups (group I, -10.2 +/- 7.1%; group II, -18.1 +/- 6.9%). The extent of reduction was significantly greater in the spironolactone group (group II) (p < 0.05 vs. group I). In group II patients, spironolactone did not cause any side effects during the observation period. We conclude that spironolactone may have beneficial effects on left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with essential hypertension who are receiving an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.  (+info)

Brain mineralocorticoid receptor control of blood pressure and kidney function in normotensive rats. (3/612)

Brain mineralocorticoid receptors appear to contribute to mineralocorticoid hypertension and may be involved in blood pressure control in normotensive rats. We examined the effect of blockade of central mineralocorticoid receptors with the use of a selective antagonist (RU28318) on cardiovascular and renal function in conscious normotensive rats. The contribution of renal innervation was evaluated in rats with bilaterally denervated kidneys. Young adult, male Wistar rats were trained for systolic blood pressure measurement by a tail sphygmographic method and accustomed to metabolic cages for collection of urine. One week before experimentation, an intracerebroventricular cannula was implanted. Systolic blood pressure was diminished 30 minutes after an intracerebroventricular dose of 10 ng of RU28318. The effect was maximal at 8 hours and was still present after 24 hours. Blood pressure returned to the basal level by 48 hours. During the period 0 to 8 hours after intracerebroventricular injection, rats treated with the antagonist showed an increase in diuresis and urinary electrolyte excretion. No significant effect on plasma renin activity, measured 8 and 30 hours after administration of RU28318, was observed. In denervated rats, the decrease in systolic blood pressure after administration of RU28318 was reduced. The difference was statistically significant compared with controls at 2 hours but not at 8 hours, and blood pressure returned to the basal value by 24 hours. The increases in diuresis and urinary electrolyte excretion induced by RU28318 were abolished in denervated rats. These results show that brain mineralocorticoid receptors are involved in blood pressure regulation and kidney function homeostasis in conscious normotensive rats. The renal nerves appear to participate in the brain mineralocorticoid receptor control of blood pressure.  (+info)

Lesion-induced plasticity in rat vestibular nucleus neurones dependent on glucocorticoid receptor activation. (4/612)

1. We have recently shown that neurones in the rostral region of the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) develop a sustained increase in their intrinsic excitability within 4 h of a lesion of the vestibular receptors of the ipsilateral inner ear. This increased excitability may be important in the rapid recovery of resting activity in these neurones during 'vestibular compensation', the behavioural recovery that follows unilateral vestibular deafferentation. In this study we investigated the role of the acute stress that normally accompanies the symptoms of unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL), and in particular the role of glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), in the development of the increase in excitability in the rostral MVN cells after UL in the rat. 2. The compensatory increase in intrinsic excitability (CIE) of MVN neurones failed to occur in animals that were labyrinthectomized under urethane anaesthesia and kept at a stable level of anaesthesia for either 4 or 6 h after UL, so that they did not experience the stress normally associated with the vestibular deafferentation syndrome. In these animals, 'mimicking' the stress response by administration of the synthetic GR agonist dexamethasone at the time of UL, restored and somewhat potentiated CIE in the MVN cells. Administration of dexamethasone in itself had no effect on the intrinsic excitability of MVN cells in sham-operated animals. 3. In animals that awoke after labyrinthectomy, and which therefore experienced the full range of oculomotor and postural symptoms of UL, there was a high level of Fos-like immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus over 1.5-3 h post-UL, indicating a strong activation of the stress axis. 4. The GR antagonist RU38486 administered at the time of UL abolished CIE in the rostral MVN cells, and significantly delayed behavioural recovery as indicated by the persistence of circular walking. The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist spironolactone administered at the time of UL had no effect. 5. Vestibular compensation thus involves a novel form of 'metaplasticity' in the adult brain, in which the increase in intrinsic excitability of rostral MVN cells and the initial behavioural recovery are dependent both on the vestibular deafferentation and on the activation of glucocorticoid receptors, during the acute behavioural stress response that follows UL. These findings help elucidate the beneficial effects of neuroactive steroids on vestibular plasticity in various species including man, while the lack of such an effect in the guinea-pig may be due to the significant differences in the physiology of the stress axis in that species.  (+info)

Comparative inhibition by hard and soft metal ions of steroid-binding capacity of renal mineralocorticoid receptor cross-linked to the 90-kDa heat-shock protein heterocomplex. (5/612)

We analysed the inhibitory effects in vitro and in vivo of several metal ions on aldosterone binding to the rat kidney mineralocorticoid receptor with the purpose of assessing possible toxic effects of those ions on sodium retention, as well as to obtain information on receptor structural requirements for ligand binding. For the assays in vitro, the inhibitory effects of 20 metal ions were analysed on steroid-binding capacity for renal receptor cross-linked to 90-kDa heat-shock protein (hsp90) by pretreatment with dimethyl pimelimidate. Cross-linking prevented the artifactual dissociation of hsp90 (and, consequently, the loss of steroid binding) from the mineralocorticoid receptor due to the presence of high concentrations of salt in the incubation medium. Cross-linked heterocomplex showed no difference in ligand specificity and affinity with respect to native receptor, but increased stability upon thermal- or ionic-strength-induced destabilization was observed. Treatments in vitro with metal ions in the range 10(-8)-10(-1) M resulted in a differential inhibitory effect for each particular ion on aldosterone binding. Using the negative logarithm of metal concentration for 50% inhibition, the ions could be correlated with their Klopman hardness constants. The analysis of this relationship led us to postulate three types of reaction: with thiol, imidazole and carboxyl groups. The essential role played by these residues in steroid binding was confirmed by chemical modification of cysteines with dithionitrobenzoic acid, histidines with diethyl pyrocarbonate and acidic amino acids with Woodward's reagent (N-ethyl-5-phenylisoxazolium-3'-sulphonate). Importantly, the toxic effects of some metal ions were also observed by treatments in vivo of adrenalectomized rats on both steroid-binding capacity and aldosterone-dependent sodium-retaining properties. We suggest that those amino acid residues are involved in the activation process of the mineralocorticoid receptor upon steroid binding. Thus toxic effects observed with these metal ions may be a consequence of modifications of those essential groups. Our results support the notion that toxicity of metals on renal mineralocorticoid function may be predicted according to their chemical hardness.  (+info)

Heart failure and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition: problems and perspectives. (6/612)

Heart failure has become the most widely studied syndrome in cardiology over the recent years. Despite the encouraging achievements by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, the mortality of patients with chronic heart failure remains high. There are several factors which can potentially be responsible for the fact that about 80% of patients with a failing heart defy protection by ACE inhibitors: different activation of tissue and systemic renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in a particular heart disease and the distinct ability of various ACE inhibitors to block cardiac ACE, alternative pathways for angiotensin II formation (chymase), genetic polymorphism of the RAS system and the complexity of neuroendocrine activation. Moreover, chronic heart failure can provoke disturbances in the reactivity of peripheral vessels and metabolism of striated muscles. These factors may then potentiate the vicious circle of heart failure. New therapeutic approaches, which could further reduce the mortality in patients with heart failure involve angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists, beta-blockers, aldosterone antagonists and blockers of the endothelin receptor. A number of questions associated with functions of the RAS still remain open and their solution could be of substantial benefit for patients with a failing heart.  (+info)

The effect of spironolactone on morbidity and mortality in patients with severe heart failure. Randomized Aldactone Evaluation Study Investigators. (7/612)

BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Aldosterone is important in the pathophysiology of heart failure. In a doubleblind study, we enrolled 1663 patients who had severe heart failure and a left ventricular ejection fraction of no more than 35 percent and who were being treated with an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor, a loop diuretic, and in most cases digoxin. A total of 822 patients were randomly assigned to receive 25 mg of spironolactone daily, and 841 to receive placebo. The primary end point was death from all causes. RESULTS: The trial was discontinued early, after a mean follow-up period of 24 months, because an interim analysis determined that spironolactone was efficacious. There were 386 deaths in the placebo group (46 percent) and 284 in the spironolactone group (35 percent; relative risk of death, 0.70; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.60 to 0.82; P<0.001). This 30 percent reduction in the risk of death among patients in the spironolactone group was attributed to a lower risk of both death from progressive heart failure and sudden death from cardiac causes. The frequency of hospitalization for worsening heart failure was 35 percent lower in the spironolactone group than in the placebo group (relative risk of hospitalization, 0.65; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.77; P<0.001). In addition, patients who received spironolactone had a significant improvement in the symptoms of heart failure, as assessed on the basis of the New York Heart Association functional class (P<0.001). Gynecomastia or breast pain was reported in 10 percent of men who were treated with spironolactone, as compared with 1 percent of men in the placebo group (P<0.001). The incidence of serious hyperkalemia was minimal in both groups of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Blockade of aldosterone receptors by spironolactone, in addition to standard therapy, substantially reduces the risk of both morbidity and death among patients with severe heart failure.  (+info)

Genotoxicity testing of potassium canrenoate in cultured rat and human cells. (8/612)

Potassium canrenoate (PC), a competitive aldosterone antagonist used as a diuretic and in the treatment of hypertension, was examined for its capacity to produce genotoxic effects in cultured rat and human cells. At subtoxic concentrations (10-90 microM) PC was found to induce a dose-dependent degree of DNA fragmentation, as detected by the Comet assay, and of DNA repair synthesis, as measured by quantitative autoradiography, in primary cultures of hepatocytes from rat and human donors of both genders. In rat hepatocytes both DNA fragmentation and DNA repair were more marked after 3 h than after 20 h exposure and in cultures from females than from males. In human hepatocytes from one male and two female donors, PC caused a similar effect in terms of DNA fragmentation, whereas DNA repair was detected in cultures from only two of the same three donors and was less marked than in rat hepatocytes. A modest but statistically significant increase in micronucleated cells was present in primary cultures of replicating rat hepatocytes exposed to 10 or 30 microM PC for 48 h, the response being, in this case also, more evident in females than in males. In contrast, PC did not induce micronucleus formation in human hepatocytes from two female donors. Any evidence of DNA fragmentation and micronucleus formation was absent in cultured human lymphocytes. Taken as a whole these findings support the hypothesis that hepatocytes activate PC to DNA-damaging reactive species. PC induced the observed genotoxic effects at concentrations close to those produced in humans by the administration of therapeutic doses, but these effects were as a whole more marked in rat than in human hepatocytes. Since PC shares the 17-hydroxy-3-oxopregna-4,6-diene structure with cyproterone acetate, chlormadinone acetate and megestrol acetate, previously found to be genotoxic to both rat and human hepatocytes, the potential carcinogenic hazard of this type of steroids cannot be neglected.  (+info)