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Endocrinology. 2005 Mar;146(3):973-80. Epub 2004 Nov 18.

Eplerenone blocks nongenomic effects of aldosterone on the Na+/H+ exchanger, intracellular Ca2+ levels, and vasoconstriction in mesenteric resistance vessels.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University Los Andes, S. Carlos Apoquindo 2200, Las Condes, 6782468 Santiago, Chile.


There is increasing evidence for rapid nongenomic effects of aldosterone. Aldosterone has been demonstrated to alter intracellular pH and calcium in isolated cells. However, few studies have correlated these effects with aldosterone-mediated physiological responses. Therefore, we studied rapid effects of aldosterone on vascular reactivity, intracellular Ca2+, and pH in resistance vessels. Furthermore, we explored whether the new antimineralocorticoid drug eplerenone could effectively block nongenomic aldosterone-mediated effects. The vasoconstrictor action of aldosterone was examined directly by determining the diameter of small resistance mesenteric vessels (160-200 microm resting diameter), simultaneously with intracellular pH or Ca2+. Aldosterone (10 nm) caused a rapid constriction of resistance vessels (8.1% +/- 1.0% reduction in the diameter below control conditions, P < 0.05). Aldosterone potentiated phenylephrine-mediated constriction in small and large mesenteric vessels. Aldosterone induced a rapid increase of intracellular Ca2+ and cellular alkalinization. Vasoconstrictor action of aldosterone and nongenomic effects on the sodium-proton exchanger (NHE1) activity or intracellular Ca2+ responses was abolished by eplerenone. The vasoconstrictor response of aldosterone was related to phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K): the hormone decreased protein kinase B phosphorylation; pharmacological inhibition of PI3-K (10 microm LY294002 or 1 microm wortmannin) increased arterial contractility. Inhibitors of ERK 1/2 phosphorylation (15 microm PD98059) had no effect on aldosterone-mediated vasoconstriction. Inhibition of protein kinase C with 1 microm bi-sindolylmaleimide I and/or inhibition of NHE1 with 100 microm amiloride abolished aldosterone vasoconstrictor action of resistance mesenteric arteries. We conclude that aldosterone-mediated increase in vascular tone is related to a nongenomic mechanism that involves protein kinase C, PI3-K, and NHE1 activity. Eplerenone is an effective blocker of nongenomic effects of aldosterone in vascular tissue.

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