Receptors, Mineralocorticoid: Cytoplasmic proteins that specifically bind MINERALOCORTICOIDS and mediate their cellular effects. The receptor with its bound ligand acts in the nucleus to induce transcription of specific segments of DNA.Mineralocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS primarily associated with water and electrolyte balance. This is accomplished through the effect on ION TRANSPORT in renal tubules, resulting in retention of sodium and loss of potassium. Mineralocorticoid secretion is itself regulated by PLASMA VOLUME, serum potassium, and ANGIOTENSIN II.Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists: Drugs that bind to and block the activation of MINERALOCORTICOID RECEPTORS by MINERALOCORTICOIDS such as ALDOSTERONE.Spironolactone: A potassium sparing diuretic that acts by antagonism of aldosterone in the distal renal tubules. It is used mainly in the treatment of refractory edema in patients with congestive heart failure, nephrotic syndrome, or hepatic cirrhosis. Its effects on the endocrine system are utilized in the treatments of hirsutism and acne but they can lead to adverse effects. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p827)Aldosterone: A hormone secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium.11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 2: An high-affinity, NAD-dependent 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase that acts unidirectionally to catalyze the dehydrogenation of CORTISOL to CORTISONE. It is found predominantly in mineralocorticoid target tissues such as the KIDNEY; COLON; SWEAT GLANDS; and the PLACENTA. Absence of the enzyme leads to a fatal form of childhood hypertension termed, APPARENT MINERALOCORTICOID EXCESS SYNDROME.Mineralocorticoid Excess Syndrome, Apparent: A hereditary disease characterized by childhood onset HYPERTENSION, hypokalemic alkalosis, and low RENIN and ALDOSTERONE secretion. It results from a defect in the activity of the 11-BETA-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASE TYPE 2 enzyme which results in inadequate conversion of CORTISOL to CORTISONE. The build up of unprocessed cortisol to levels that stimulate MINERALOCORTICOID RECEPTORS creates the appearance of having excessive MINERALOCORTICOIDS.Desoxycorticosterone: A steroid metabolite that is the 11-deoxy derivative of CORTICOSTERONE and the 21-hydroxy derivative of PROGESTERONE.11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases that catalyzes the reversible conversion of CORTISOL to the inactive metabolite CORTISONE. Enzymes in this class can utilize either NAD or NADP as cofactors.Fludrocortisone: A synthetic mineralocorticoid with anti-inflammatory activity.Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Enzymes of the oxidoreductase class that catalyze the dehydrogenation of hydroxysteroids. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 1.1.-.Receptors, Glucocorticoid: Cytoplasmic proteins that specifically bind glucocorticoids and mediate their cellular effects. The glucocorticoid receptor-glucocorticoid complex acts in the nucleus to induce transcription of DNA. Glucocorticoids were named for their actions on blood glucose concentration, but they have equally important effects on protein and fat metabolism. Cortisol is the most important example.Canrenoic Acid: A synthetic pregnadiene derivative with anti-aldosterone activity.Adrenalectomy: Excision of one or both adrenal glands. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Glucocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS that affect carbohydrate metabolism (GLUCONEOGENESIS, liver glycogen deposition, elevation of BLOOD SUGAR), inhibit ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secretion, and possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. They also play a role in fat and protein metabolism, maintenance of arterial blood pressure, alteration of the connective tissue response to injury, reduction in the number of circulating lymphocytes, and functioning of the central nervous system.Aldosterone Synthase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 18-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-specific flavoprotein. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B2 gene, is important in the conversion of CORTICOSTERONE to 18-hydroxycorticosterone and the subsequent conversion to ALDOSTERONE.Mifepristone: A progestational and glucocorticoid hormone antagonist. Its inhibition of progesterone induces bleeding during the luteal phase and in early pregnancy by releasing endogenous prostaglandins from the endometrium or decidua. As a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, the drug has been used to treat hypercortisolism in patients with nonpituitary CUSHING SYNDROME.Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Epithelial Sodium Channels: Sodium channels found on salt-reabsorbing EPITHELIAL CELLS that line the distal NEPHRON; the distal COLON; SALIVARY DUCTS; SWEAT GLANDS; and the LUNG. They are AMILORIDE-sensitive and play a critical role in the control of sodium balance, BLOOD VOLUME, and BLOOD PRESSURE.Kidney Tubules, Collecting: Straight tubes commencing in the radiate part of the kidney cortex where they receive the curved ends of the distal convoluted tubules. In the medulla the collecting tubules of each pyramid converge to join a central tube (duct of Bellini) which opens on the summit of the papilla.Hyperaldosteronism: A condition caused by the overproduction of ALDOSTERONE. It is characterized by sodium retention and potassium excretion with resultant HYPERTENSION and HYPOKALEMIA.Dexamethasone: An anti-inflammatory 9-fluoro-glucocorticoid.18-Hydroxydesoxycorticosterone: An analog of desoxycorticosterone which is substituted by a hydroxyl group at the C-18 position.Hormone Antagonists: Chemical substances which inhibit the function of the endocrine glands, the biosynthesis of their secreted hormones, or the action of hormones upon their specific sites.Sodium: A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol Na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23.Pseudohypoaldosteronism: A heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by renal electrolyte transport dysfunctions. Congenital forms are rare autosomal disorders characterized by neonatal hypertension, HYPERKALEMIA, increased RENIN activity and ALDOSTERONE concentration. The Type I features HYPERKALEMIA with sodium wasting; Type II, HYPERKALEMIA without sodium wasting. Pseudohypoaldosteronism can be the result of a defective renal electrolyte transport protein or acquired after KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Sodium Chloride, Dietary: Sodium chloride used in foods.Cortisone: A naturally occurring glucocorticoid. It has been used in replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Cortisone itself is inactive. It is converted in the liver to the active metabolite HYDROCORTISONE. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p726)TetrahydrocortisolSteroid 11-beta-Hydroxylase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 11-beta-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B1 gene, is important in the synthesis of CORTICOSTERONE and HYDROCORTISONE. Defects in CYP11B1 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial BLOOD PRESSURE. Based on multiple readings (BLOOD PRESSURE DETERMINATION), hypertension is currently defined as when SYSTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently greater than 140 mm Hg or when DIASTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently 90 mm Hg or more.18-Hydroxycorticosterone: 11 beta,18,21-Trihydroxypregn-4-ene-3,20-dione.Cortodoxone: 17,21-Dihydroxypregn-4-ene-3,20-dione. A 17-hydroxycorticosteroid with glucocorticoid and anti-inflammatory activities.11-beta-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1: A low-affinity 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase found in a variety of tissues, most notably in LIVER; LUNG; ADIPOSE TISSUE; vascular tissue; OVARY; and the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. The enzyme acts reversibly and can use either NAD or NADP as cofactors.Renin: A highly specific (Leu-Leu) endopeptidase that generates ANGIOTENSIN I from its precursor ANGIOTENSINOGEN, leading to a cascade of reactions which elevate BLOOD PRESSURE and increase sodium retention by the kidney in the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM. The enzyme was formerly listed as EC 184.108.40.206.Receptors, Steroid: Proteins found usually in the cytoplasm or nucleus that specifically bind steroid hormones and trigger changes influencing the behavior of cells. The steroid receptor-steroid hormone complex regulates the transcription of specific genes.Renin-Angiotensin System: A BLOOD PRESSURE regulating system of interacting components that include RENIN; ANGIOTENSINOGEN; ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME; ANGIOTENSIN I; ANGIOTENSIN II; and angiotensinase. Renin, an enzyme produced in the kidney, acts on angiotensinogen, an alpha-2 globulin produced by the liver, forming ANGIOTENSIN I. Angiotensin-converting enzyme, contained in the lung, acts on angiotensin I in the plasma converting it to ANGIOTENSIN II, an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor. Angiotensin II causes contraction of the arteriolar and renal VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE, leading to retention of salt and water in the KIDNEY and increased arterial blood pressure. In addition, angiotensin II stimulates the release of ALDOSTERONE from the ADRENAL CORTEX, which in turn also increases salt and water retention in the kidney. Angiotensin-converting enzyme also breaks down BRADYKININ, a powerful vasodilator and component of the KALLIKREIN-KININ SYSTEM.Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.TetrahydrocortisoneCarbenoxolone: An agent derived from licorice root. It is used for the treatment of digestive tract ulcers, especially in the stomach. Antidiuretic side effects are frequent, but otherwise the drug is low in toxicity.Kidney Tubules, Distal: The portion of renal tubule that begins from the enlarged segment of the ascending limb of the LOOP OF HENLE. It reenters the KIDNEY CORTEX and forms the convoluted segments of the distal tubule.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Androstanols: Androstanes and androstane derivatives which are substituted in any position with one or more hydroxyl groups.Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital: A group of inherited disorders of the ADRENAL GLANDS, caused by enzyme defects in the synthesis of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) and/or ALDOSTERONE leading to accumulation of precursors for ANDROGENS. Depending on the hormone imbalance, congenital adrenal hyperplasia can be classified as salt-wasting, hypertensive, virilizing, or feminizing. Defects in STEROID 21-HYDROXYLASE; STEROID 11-BETA-HYDROXYLASE; STEROID 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYLASE; 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASES); TESTOSTERONE 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE; or steroidogenic acute regulatory protein; among others, underlie these disorders.Electrolytes: Substances that dissociate into two or more ions, to some extent, in water. Solutions of electrolytes thus conduct an electric current and can be decomposed by it (ELECTROLYSIS). (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Hypokalemia: Abnormally low potassium concentration in the blood. It may result from potassium loss by renal secretion or by the gastrointestinal route, as by vomiting or diarrhea. It may be manifested clinically by neuromuscular disorders ranging from weakness to paralysis, by electrocardiographic abnormalities (depression of the T wave and elevation of the U wave), by renal disease, and by gastrointestinal disorders. (Dorland, 27th ed)Potassium: An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.Oxyphenbutazone: A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Oxyphenbutazone eyedrops have been used abroad in the management of postoperative ocular inflammation, superficial eye injuries, and episcleritis. (From AMA, Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p2000) It had been used by mouth in rheumatic disorders such as ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis but such use is no longer considered justified owing to the risk of severe hematological adverse effects. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p27)Adrenal Cortex HormonesRNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Hydroxycorticosteroids: A group of corticosteroids carrying hydroxy groups, usually in the 11- or 17-positions. They comprise the bulk of the corticosteroids used systemically. As they are relatively insoluble in water, salts of various esterified forms are often used for injections or solutions.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Androstenediols: Unsaturated androstane derivatives which are substituted with two hydroxy groups in any position in the ring system.Sodium Chloride Symporters: A subclass of symporters found in KIDNEY TUBULES, DISTAL that are the major pathway for salt resorption. Inhibition of these symporters by BENZOTHIADIAZINES is the basis of action of some DIURETICS.Triamterene: A pteridinetriamine compound that inhibits SODIUM reabsorption through SODIUM CHANNELS in renal EPITHELIAL CELLS.Adrenocortical Hyperfunction: Excess production of ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and/or ANDROSTENEDIONE. Hyperadrenal syndromes include CUSHING SYNDROME; HYPERALDOSTERONISM; and VIRILISM.Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System: A collection of NEURONS, tracts of NERVE FIBERS, endocrine tissue, and blood vessels in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the PITUITARY GLAND. This hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal circulation provides the mechanism for hypothalamic neuroendocrine (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) regulation of pituitary function and the release of various PITUITARY HORMONES into the systemic circulation to maintain HOMEOSTASIS.Sodium, Dietary: Sodium or sodium compounds used in foods or as a food. The most frequently used compounds are sodium chloride or sodium glutamate.Sodium Chloride: A ubiquitous sodium salt that is commonly used to season food.Fibrosis: Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury.Steroid 21-Hydroxylase: An adrenal microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 21-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP21 gene, converts progesterones to precursors of adrenal steroid hormones (CORTICOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE). Defects in CYP21 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Pituitary-Adrenal System: The interactions between the anterior pituitary and adrenal glands, in which corticotropin (ACTH) stimulates the adrenal cortex and adrenal cortical hormones suppress the production of corticotropin by the anterior pituitary.Adrenal Gland Diseases: Pathological processes of the ADRENAL GLANDS.Kidney Cortex: The outer zone of the KIDNEY, beneath the capsule, consisting of KIDNEY GLOMERULUS; KIDNEY TUBULES, DISTAL; and KIDNEY TUBULES, PROXIMAL.Glycyrrhiza: A genus of leguminous herbs or shrubs whose roots yield GLYCYRRHETINIC ACID and its derivative, CARBENOXOLONE.Water-Electrolyte Balance: The balance of fluid in the BODY FLUID COMPARTMENTS; total BODY WATER; BLOOD VOLUME; EXTRACELLULAR SPACE; INTRACELLULAR SPACE, maintained by processes in the body that regulate the intake and excretion of WATER and ELECTROLYTES, particularly SODIUM and POTASSIUM.Immediate-Early Proteins: Proteins that are coded by immediate-early genes, in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. The term was originally used exclusively for viral regulatory proteins that were synthesized just after viral integration into the host cell. It is also used to describe cellular proteins which are synthesized immediately after the resting cell is stimulated by extracellular signals.Amiloride: A pyrazine compound inhibiting SODIUM reabsorption through SODIUM CHANNELS in renal EPITHELIAL CELLS. This inhibition creates a negative potential in the luminal membranes of principal cells, located in the distal convoluted tubule and collecting duct. Negative potential reduces secretion of potassium and hydrogen ions. Amiloride is used in conjunction with DIURETICS to spare POTASSIUM loss. (From Gilman et al., Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed, p705)Steroids: A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to TERPENES. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (STEROLS), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase: An enzyme that catalyzes the active transport system of sodium and potassium ions across the cell wall. Sodium and potassium ions are closely coupled with membrane ATPase which undergoes phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, thereby providing energy for transport of these ions against concentration gradients.Diet, Sodium-Restricted: A diet which contains very little sodium chloride. It is prescribed by some for hypertension and for edematous states. (Dorland, 27th ed)Glycyrrhetinic Acid: An oleanolic acid from GLYCYRRHIZA that has some antiallergic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It is used topically for allergic or infectious skin inflammation and orally for its aldosterone effects in electrolyte regulation.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.Kidney Tubules: Long convoluted tubules in the nephrons. They collect filtrate from blood passing through the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS and process this filtrate into URINE. Each renal tubule consists of a BOWMAN CAPSULE; PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE; LOOP OF HENLE; DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE; and KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCT leading to the central cavity of the kidney (KIDNEY PELVIS) that connects to the URETER.Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate: A water-soluble ester of METHYLPREDNISOLONE used for cardiac, allergic, and hypoxic emergencies.Rats, Inbred Dahl: Inbred rats derived from Sprague-Dawley rats and used for the study of salt-dependent hypertension. Salt-sensitive and salt-resistant strains have been selectively bred to show the opposite genetically determined blood pressure responses to excess sodium chloride ingestion.Hyperkalemia: Abnormally high potassium concentration in the blood, most often due to defective renal excretion. It is characterized clinically by electrocardiographic abnormalities (elevated T waves and depressed P waves, and eventually by atrial asystole). In severe cases, weakness and flaccid paralysis may occur. (Dorland, 27th ed)Kidney Medulla: The internal portion of the kidney, consisting of striated conical masses, the renal pyramids, whose bases are adjacent to the cortex and whose apices form prominent papillae projecting into the lumen of the minor calyces.Fadrozole: A selective aromatase inhibitor effective in the treatment of estrogen-dependent disease including breast cancer.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Batrachoidiformes: An order of bottom fishes with short, small, spinous dorsal fins. It is comprised of one family (Batrachoididae) and about 70 species.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Sodium Channels: Ion channels that specifically allow the passage of SODIUM ions. A variety of specific sodium channel subtypes are involved in serving specialized functions such as neuronal signaling, CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, and KIDNEY function.Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 2: A melanocortin receptor subtype found primarily in the ADRENAL CORTEX. It shows specificity for ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE.Alkalosis: A pathological condition that removes acid or adds base to the body fluids.Myocytes, Cardiac: Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.Sodium Radioisotopes: Unstable isotopes of sodium that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Na atoms with atomic weights 20-22 and 24-26 are radioactive sodium isotopes.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Drinking: The consumption of liquids.Diuretics: Agents that promote the excretion of urine through their effects on kidney function.Buthionine Sulfoximine: A synthetic amino acid that depletes glutathione by irreversibly inhibiting gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase. Inhibition of this enzyme is a critical step in glutathione biosynthesis. It has been shown to inhibit the proliferative response in human T-lymphocytes and inhibit macrophage activation. (J Biol Chem 1995;270(33):1945-7)Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Metyrapone: An inhibitor of the enzyme STEROID 11-BETA-MONOOXYGENASE. It is used as a test of the feedback hypothalamic-pituitary mechanism in the diagnosis of CUSHING SYNDROME.