Aldosterone is a key regulator of electrolyte and water homeostasis and plays a central role in blood pressure regulation. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, among them increased progesterone and aldosterone production, lead to the required plasma volume expansion of the maternal body as an accommodation mechanism for fetus growth. This review discusses the regulation of aldosterone production by aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2); the impact on aldosterone secretion due to the presence of a chimeric gene originating from a crossover between CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 in glucocorticoid remediable aldosteronism (GRA) — the inherited form of hypertension; enhanced aldosterone production in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA); and idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA). Features of hyperaldosteronism are also found in patients with apparent mineralocorticoid excess (AME), in which glucocorticoids exacerbate activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) because of a defect in the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 enzyme. Regulation of aldosterone production and tissue-specific activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor are prerequisites for optimal control of body fluids and blood pressure during pregnancy and contribute largely to the wellbeing of the mother-to-be.
Authors: Geneviève Escher
Keywords: aldosterone, pregnancy, CYP11B2, GRA, mineralocorticoid receptor
DOI Number: 10.1177/F1753944708100180 Publication Year: 2009
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