Mineralocorticoids, hypertension, and cardiac fibrosis

Morag Young, Meryl Fullerton, Rodney Dilley, John Funder

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Uninephrectomized rats drinking 1% sodium chloride were given aldosterone (Aldo, 0.75 μg/h, subcutaneous [s.c.] infusion), deoxycorticosterone (DOC, 20 mg/wk, s.c.), corticosterone (B, 2 mg/d, s.c.), or the antiglucocorticoid- antiprogestin RU486 (2 mg/d, s.c.) for 8 wk, and hemodynamic and tissue responses were compared with a non-steroid-treated control group. Aldo and DOC markedly increased systolic BP and caused considerable (40-50%) cardiac hypertrophy; B and RU486 caused neither hypertension nor cardiac hypertrophy. Measurements of ventricular cross-sectional areas showed hypertrophy due to an increase in mass of the left ventricle only. Cardiac hydroxyproline concentration was increased considerably by Aldo and DOC, to a lesser degree by RU486, and not by B. Aldo markedly elevated left ventricular interstitial collagen (2.5-fold vs control, P < 0.01 vs all groups); other steroid treatments also increased interstitial collagen over control (DOC x 1.8-, RU486 x 1.6-, B x 1.3-fold), with identical responses for right and left ventricles (r = 0.94). A different pattern of perivascular fibrosis was noted; DOC elevated perivascular collagen (2.1-fold vs control, P < 0.01 vs all other groups); RU486 raised levels 1.4-fold vs control, but neither Aldo nor B significantly affected perivascular collagen. These data are consistent with interstitial cardiac fibrosis reflecting type I (mineralocorticoid) receptor occupancy by administered Aldo or DOC, or by elevated endogenous B after type II (glucocorticoid) receptor blockade after RU486 administration; perivascular fibrosis may reflect a composite response after type I receptor agonist/type II glucocorticoid receptor antagonist occupancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2578-2583
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • aldosterone
  • deoxycorticosterone
  • interstitial fibrosis
  • perivascular fibrosis
  • RU486

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