The physiological control of steroid hormone secretion from the adrenal cortex depends on the function of potassium channels. The “two-pore domain K+ channels” (K2P) TWIK-related acid sensitive K+ channel 1 (TASK1), TASK3, and TWIK-related K+ channel 1 (TREK1) are strongly expressed in adrenocortical cells. They confer a background K+ conductance to these cells which is important for the K+ sensitivity as well as for angiotensin II and adrenocorticotropic hormone-dependent stimulation of aldosterone and cortisol synthesis. Mice with single deletions of the Task1 or Task3 gene as well as Task1/Task3 double knockout mice display partially autonomous aldosterone synthesis. It appears that TASK1 and TASK3 serve different functions: TASK1 affects cell differentiation and prevents expression of aldosterone synthase in the zona fasciculata, while TASK3 controls aldosterone secretion in glomerulosa cells. TREK1 is involved in the regulation of cortisol secretion in fasciculata cells. These data suggest that a disturbed function of K2P channels could contribute to adrenocortical pathologies in humans.
Authors: Sascha Bandulik, Philipp Tauber, Enzo Lalli, Jacques Barhanin, Richard Warth
Keywords: KCNK2, KCNK3, KCNK9, TASK, TREK, Aldosterone
DOI Number: 10.1007/s00424-014-1628-6 Publication Year: 2015
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