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Physiol Genomics. 2007 Dec 19;32(1):117-27. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Gene expression profile in rat adrenal zona glomerulosa cells stimulated with aldosterone secretagogues.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA. dromero@medicine.umsmed.edu


The mineralocorticoid aldosterone, mainly produced by the adrenal gland, is essential for life, but an abnormally excessive secretion causes severe pathological effects including hypertension and target organ injury in the heart and kidney. The aim of this study was to determine the gene regulatory network triggered by aldosterone secretagogues in a nontransformed cell system. Freshly isolated rat adrenal zona glomerulosa cells were stimulated with the two main aldosterone secretagogues, angiotensin II and potassium, for 2 h and subjected to whole genome expression studies using multiple biological and bioinformatics tools. Several genes were differentially expressed by ANG II (n = 133) or potassium (n = 216). Genes belonging to the nucleic acid binding and transcription factor activity categories were significantly enriched. A subset of the most regulated genes was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR, and then their expression was analyzed in time curve studies. Differentially expressed genes were grouped according to their time response expression pattern, and their promoter regions were analyzed for common regulatory transcription factor binding sites. Finally, data mining with gene promoters, transcription factors, and literature databases was performed to generate gene interaction networks for either ANG II or potassium. This paper provides for the first time a complete study of the genes that are regulated, and the interaction between them, by aldosterone secretagogues in rat adrenal cells. Increasing our knowledge of adrenal physiology and gene regulation in nontransformed cell systems could lead us to a better approach for the discovery of candidate genes involved in pathological conditions of the adrenal cortex.

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