Aldosterone Affects Blood Flow and Vascular Tone Regulated by Endothelium-derived NO: Therapeutic Implications


Aldosterone, in doses inappropriate to the salt status, plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular injury, including endothelial dysfunction, independent of its hypertensive effects. Acute non‐genomic effects of aldosterone acting on mineralocorticoid receptors are inconsistent in healthy humans: vasoconstriction or forearm blood flow decrease via endothelial dysfunction, vasodilatation mediated by increased NO actions, or no effects. However, in studies with experimental animals, aldosterone mostly enhances vasodilatation mediated by endothelium‐derived NO. Chronic exposure to aldosterone, which induces genomic responses, results in impairments of endothelial function through decreased NO synthesis and action in healthy individuals, experimental animals and isolated endothelial cells. Chronic aldosterone reduces NO release from isolated human endothelial cells only when extracellular sodium is raised. Oxidative stress is involved in the impairment of endothelial function by promoting NO degradation. Aldosterone liberates endothelin‐1 (ET‐1) from endothelial cells, which elicits ETA receptor–mediated vasoconstriction by inhibiting endothelial NO synthesis and action and through its own direct vasoconstrictor action. Ca2+ flux through T‐type Ca2+ channels activates aldosterone synthesis and thus enhances unwanted effects of aldosterone on the endothelium. Mineralocorticoid receptor inhibitors, ETA receptor antagonists and T‐type Ca2+ channel blockers appear to diminish the pathophysiological participation of aldosterone in cardiovascular disease and exert beneficial actions on bioavailability of endothelium‐derived NO, particularly in resistant hypertension and aldosteronism.

Authors: Noboru Toda, Sadanobu Nakanishi, Shinichi Tanabe
Keywords: aldosterone, NO, endothelial dysfunction, blood flow regulation, endothelin, T-type Ca2+ channel, mineralocorticoid receptor inhibitor
DOI Number: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.02194.x      Publication Year: 2012

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