Determinants of cardiac fibrosis in experimental hypermineralocorticoid states

M. Young, G. Head, J. Funder

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Uninephrectomized rats maintained on 1.0% NaCl to drink and infused with aldosterone (0.75 μg/h) for 8 wk have previously been shown to develop hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and cardiac fibrosis. In the present study we have shown that K+ supplementation (1.0% NaCl plus 0.4% KCl drinking solution) alters neither the interstitial nor the perivascular fibrotic response to mineralocorticoid treatment. Second, rats receiving 0.75 μg/h 9α-fluorocortisol, a mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid agonist, respond with hypertension and cardiac fibrosis without cardiac hypertrophy. Finally, intracerebroventricular infusion of the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist RU-28318 blocks blood pressure elevation, but not cardiac hypertrophy or fibrosis, when aldosterone is coinfused peripherally. We conclude that the myocardial fibrosis observed in response to chronic mineralocorticoid elevation and salt loading is a humorally mediated event independent of hypokalemia, hypertension, and cardiac hypertrophy. It remains to be determined whether the fibrosis observed in the presence of excess salt represents a direct (e.g., cardiac) effect of mineralocorticoid hormones or one mediated via a primary action on classical epithelial aldosterone target tissues (e.g., kidney).

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4 32-4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • 9α-fluorocortisol
  • aldosterone
  • deoxycorticosterone
  • hypokalemia
  • RU- 28318
  • RU-38486

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