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J Hypertens. 2011 Sep;29(9):1684-92. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834a4c75.

Aldosterone as a modulator of immunity: implications in the organ damage.

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Departamento de Genética Molecular y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


High plasmatic levels of aldosterone cause hypertension and contribute to progressive organ damage to the heart, vasculature, and kidneys. Recent studies have demonstrated a role for the immune system in these pathological processes. Aldosterone promotes an inflammatory state characterized by vascular infiltration of immune cells, reactive oxidative stress, and proinflammatory cytokine production. Further, cells of the adaptive immune system, such as T cells, seem to participate in the genesis of mineralocorticoid hormone-induced hypertension. In addition, the observation that aldosterone can promote CD4⁺ T-cell activation and Th17 polarization suggests that this hormone could contribute to the onset of autoimmunity. Here we discuss recent evidence supporting a significant involvement of the immune system, especially adaptive immunity, in the genesis of hypertension and organ damage induced by primary aldosteronism. In addition, possible new therapeutic approaches consisting of immunomodulator drugs to control exacerbated immune responses triggered by elevated aldosterone concentrations will be described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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