Mouse Models of Primary Aldosteronism: From Physiology to Pathophysiology.
ABSTRACT: Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a common form of endocrine hypertension that is characterized by the excessive production of aldosterone relative to suppressed plasma renin levels. PA is usually caused by either a unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma or bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Somatic mutations have been identified in several genes that encode ion pumps and channels that may explain the aldosterone excess in over half of aldosterone-producing adenomas, whereas the pathophysiology of bilateral adrenal hyperplasia is largely unknown. A number of mouse models of hyperaldosteronism have been described that recreate some features of the human disorder, although none replicate the genetic basis of human PA. Animal models that reproduce the genotype-phenotype associations of human PA are required to establish the functional mechanisms that underlie the endocrine autonomy and deregulated cell growth of the affected adrenal and for preclinical studies of novel therapeutics. Herein, we discuss the differences in adrenal physiology across species and describe the genetically modified mouse models of PA that have been developed to date.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism is the most common form of endocrine hypertension with a prevalence of 6% in the general population with hypertension. The genetic basis of the four familial forms of primary aldosteronism (familial hyperaldosteronism FH types I-IV) and the majority of sporadic unilateral aldosterone-producing adenomas has now been resolved. Familial forms of hyperaldosteronism are, however, rare. The sporadic forms of the disease prevail and these are usually caused by either a unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma or bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Aldosterone-producing adenomas frequently carry a causative somatic mutation in either of a number of genes with the KCNJ5 gene, encoding an inwardly rectifying potassium channel, a recurrent target harboring mutations at a prevalence of more than 40% worldwide. Other than genetic variations, gene expression profiling of aldosterone-producing adenomas has shed light on the genes and intracellular signalling pathways that may play a role in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of these tumors.
Project description:Aldosterone producing adenoma and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia are the two most common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA) that require targeted and distinct therapeutic approaches: unilateral adrenalectomy or lifelong medical therapy with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. According to the 2016 Endocrine Society Guideline, adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is the gold standard test to distinguish between unilateral and bilateral aldosterone overproduction and therefore, to safely refer patients with PA to surgery. Despite significant advances in the optimization of the AVS procedure and the interpretation of hormonal data, a standardized protocol across centers is still lacking. Alternative methods are sought to either localize an aldosterone producing adenoma or to predict the presence of unilateral disease and thereby substantially reduce the number of patients with PA who proceed to AVS. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in subtyping PA for the diagnosis of unilateral and bilateral disease. We focus on the developments in the AVS procedure, the interpretation criteria, and comparisons of the performance of AVS with the alternative methods that are currently available.
Project description:Adrenal venous sampling is currently the only reliable method to distinguish unilateral from bilateral diseases in primary aldosteronism. In this study, we attempted to determine whether peripheral plasma levels of 18-oxocortisol (18oxoF) and 18-hydroxycortisol could contribute to the clinical differentiation between aldosteronoma and bilateral hyperaldosteronism in 234 patients with primary aldosteronism, including computed tomography (CT)-detectable aldosteronoma (n=113) and bilateral hyperaldosteronism (n=121), all of whom underwent CT and adrenal venous sampling. All aldosteronomas were surgically resected and the accuracy of diagnosis was clinically and histopathologically confirmed. 18oxoF and 18-hydroxycortisol were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of 18oxoF discrimination of adenoma from hyperplasia demonstrated sensitivity/specificity of 0.83/0.99 at a cut-off value of 4.7 ng/dL, compared with that based on 18-hydroxycortisol (sensitivity/specificity: 0.62/0.96). 18oxoF levels above 6.1 ng/dL or of aldosterone >32.7 ng/dL were found in 95 of 113 patients with aldosteronoma (84%) but in none of 121 bilateral hyperaldosteronism, 30 of whom harbored CT-detectable unilateral nonfunctioning nodules in their adrenals. In addition, 18oxoF levels below 1.2 ng/dL, the lowest in aldosteronoma, were found 52 of the 121 (43%) patients with bilateral hyperaldosteronism. Further analysis of 27 patients with CT-undetectable micro aldosteronomas revealed that 8 of these 27 patients had CT-detectable contralateral adrenal nodules, the highest values of 18oxoF and aldosterone were 4.8 and 24.5 ng/dL, respectively, both below their cut-off levels indicated above. The peripheral plasma 18oxoF concentrations served not only to differentiate aldosteronoma but also could serve to avoid unnecessary surgery for nonfunctioning adrenocortical nodules concurrent with hyperplasia or microadenoma.
Project description:Introduction: Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a major cause of secondary hypertension. The two principal forms of PA are bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BAH) and aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) whose differentiation is clinically pivotal, due to their different treatments. Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) is considered to be the gold standard for the differentiation of the two clinical entities, but it is invasive, requires great expertise and is unavailable in many centers. There would be a major clinical need for a reliable and easily accessible diagnostic biomarker. Circulating microRNA were shown to be useful as minimally invasive diagnostic markers in many diseases, but their potential applicability in PA has not yet been investigated. Aims: To determine and compare the circulating microRNA expression profiles of AVS-confirmed APA and BAH plasma samples, and to evaluate their applicability as minimally invasive markers. Methods: 81 AVS-confirmed plasma samples were included. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed on 30 EDTA-anticoagulated plasma samples. Significantly differently expressed miRNAs were validated by real-time RT-qPCR on all samples. Results: We have found relative overexpression of miR-30e-5p, miR-30d-5p, miR-223-3p and miR-7-5p in BAH compared to APA by NGS. Validation of 81 samples confirmed significant overexpression (p=0.03) of miR-7-5p. Regarding the microRNA expressional variations, APA is more heterogenous at the miRNA level compared to BAH. Conclusion: miR-7-5p was significantly overexpressed in BAH samples compared to APA samples, but its sensitivity and specificity values are not good enough for introduction to the clinical practice yet. Overall design: Altogether 30 samples were investigated by high-throughput miRNA expression profiling (16 aldosterone-producing adenomas and 14 bilateral adrenal hyperplasias)
Project description:Primary aldosteronism affects ?5% to 10% of hypertensive patients and has unilateral and bilateral forms. Most unilateral primary aldosteronism is caused by computed tomography-detectable aldosterone-producing adenomas, which express CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) and frequently harbor somatic mutations in aldosterone-regulating genes. The cause of the most common bilateral form of primary aldosteronism, idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA), is believed to be diffuse hyperplasia of aldosterone-producing cells within the adrenal cortex. Herein, a multi-institution cohort of 15 IHA adrenals was examined with CYP11B2 immunohistochemistry and next-generation sequencing. CYP11B2 immunoreactivity in adrenal glomerulosa harboring non-nodular hyperplasia was only observed in 4/15 IHA adrenals suggesting that hyperplasia of CYP11B2-expressing cells may not be the major cause of IHA. However, the adrenal cortex of all IHA adrenals harbored at least 1 CYP11B2-positive aldosterone-producing cell cluster (APCC) or micro-aldosterone-producing adenomas. The number of APCCs per case (and individual APCC area) in IHA adrenals was significantly larger than in normotensive controls. Next-generation sequencing of DNA from 99 IHA APCCs demonstrated somatic mutations in genes encoding the L-type calcium voltage-gated channel subunit ? 1-D ( CACNA1D, n=57; 58%) and potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily J-5 ( KCNJ5, n=1; 1%). These data suggest that IHA may result from not only hyperplasia but also the accumulation or enlargement of computed tomography-undetectable APCC harboring somatic aldosterone-driver gene mutations. The high prevalence of mutations in the CACNA1D L-type calcium channel provides a potential actionable therapeutic target that could complement mineralocorticoid blockade and inhibit aldosterone overproduction in some IHA patients.
Project description:We report a case of non-familial juvenile primary aldosteronism (PA). Super-selective adrenal venous sampling identified less aldosterone production in the right inferior adrenal segment than others. Bilateral adrenalectomy sparing the segment normalized blood pressure and improved PA. Both adrenals had similar histologies, consisting of a normal adrenal cortex and aldosterone synthase-positive hyperplasia/adenoma. An aldosterone-driving KCNJ5 mutation was detected in the lesions, but not in the histologically normal cortex. After taking into account that the two adrenal glands displayed a similar histological profile, as well as the fact that hyperplastic lesions in both glands exhibited a common KCNJ5 mutation, we conclude that the specific mutation may have occurred at an adrenal precursor mesodermal cell, at an early stage of development; its daughter cells were mixed with non-mutant cells and dispersed into both adrenal glands, resulting into a form of the condition known as genetic mosaicism.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>This study compared cardiac function, morphology, and tissue characteristics between two common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA) using a 3T MR scanner.<h4>Design</h4>A retrospective, single-center, observational study.<h4>Methods</h4>We retrospectively reviewed 143 consecutive patients with PA, who underwent both adrenal venous sampling and cardiac magnetic resonance. We acquired cine, late gadolinium enhancement, and pre- and postcontrast myocardial T1-mapping images.<h4>Results</h4>PA was diagnosed as unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) in 70 patients and bilateral hyperaldosteronism (BHA) in 73. The APA group showed significantly higher plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) and aldosterone to renin rate (ARR) than the BHA group. After controlling for age, sex, antihypertensive drugs, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and disease duration, the parameters independently associated with APA were: left ventricular end-diastolic volume index (EDVI: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.06 (95% CI: 1.030-1.096), P < 0.01), end-systolic volume index (ESVI: 1.06 (1.017-1.113), P < 0.01), stroke index (SI: 1.07 (1.020-1.121), P < 0.01), cardiac index (CI: 1.001 (1.000-1.001), P < 0.01), and native T1 (1.01 (1.000-1.019), P = 0.038). Weak positive correlations were found between PAC and EDVI (R = 0.28, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.26, P < 0.01), and SI (0.18, P = 0.03); and between ARR and EDVI (0.25, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.24, P < 0.01), and native T1 (0.17, P = 0.047).<h4>Conclusions</h4>APA is associated with greater LV volumetric parameters and higher native T1 values, suggesting a higher risk of volume overload and myocardial damage.
Project description:Unilateral primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common surgically curable form of hypertension that must be accurately differentiated from bilateral PA for therapeutic management (surgical versus medical). Adrenalectomy results in biochemical cure (complete biochemical success) in almost all patients diagnosed with unilateral PA; the remaining patients with partial or absent biochemical success comprise those with persisting aldosteronism who were misdiagnosed as unilateral PA preoperatively. To identify determinants of postsurgical biochemical outcomes, we compared the adrenal histopathology and the peripheral venous steroid profiles of patients with partial and absent or complete biochemical success after adrenalectomy for unilateral PA. A large multicenter cohort of adrenals from patients with absent and partial biochemical success (n=43) displayed a higher prevalence of hyperplasia (49% versus 21%; P=0.004) and a lower prevalence of solitary functional adenoma (44% versus 79%; P<0.001) compared with adrenals from age- and sex-matched patients with PA with complete biochemical success (n=52). We measured the peripheral plasma steroid concentrations in a subgroup of these patients (n=43) and in a group of patients with bilateral PA (n=27). Steroid profiling was associated with histopathologic phenotypes (solitary functional adenoma, hyperplasia, and aldosterone-producing cell clusters) and classified patients according to biochemical outcome or diagnosis of bilateral PA. If validated, peripheral venous steroid profiling may be a useful tool to guide the decision to perform surgery based on expectations of biochemical outcome after the procedure.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism (PA) is characterized by aldosterone hypersecretion and adrenal hyperplasia and ranks as one of the most common causes of secondary hypertension. However, the molecular mechanism involved in adrenal hyperplasia and tumorigenesis is largely unknown. Dysregulation of Purkinji cell protein 4 (PCP4) is involved in the development and progression of neoplasia and aldosterone secretion, but little is known about the effect of PCP4 on human adrenocortical tumorigenesis. We investigated the expression pattern of PCP4 in different adrenal tissues and studied whether PCP4 is involved in cell growth in human adrenal cell lines. The mRNA levels of PCP4 were measured by real-time PCR in tissues from aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs), idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA) tissues, and normal adrenal (NA) tissues. In vitro siRNA knockdown of PCP4 in NCI-H295R and SW13 cell lines was used to determine the effect of PCP4 on cellular growth. Our results show that the mRNA level of PCP4 is upregulated in APAs and IHA compared with that in NA. The PCP4 mRNA expression level was positively correlated with tumor size in APAs. Knockdown of PCP4 decreased cell proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis showed that PCP4 knockdown fosters apoptosis. Finally, PCP4 knockdown inhibited phosphorylation of AKT308 and AMPKThr172. Our data suggest that PCP4 may represent a key player in the development and pathophysiology of PA via targeting the AKT and AMPK signaling pathways and thus may be a promising therapeutic target for PA.
Project description:Recent discoveries of somatic mutations permit the recognition of subtypes of aldosterone-producing adenomas with distinct clinical presentations and pathological features. Here we describe three women with hyperaldosteronism, two who presented in pregnancy and one who presented after menopause. Their aldosterone-producing adenomas harbored activating mutations of CTNNB1, encoding ?-catenin in the Wnt cell-differentiation pathway, and expressed LHCGR and GNRHR, encoding gonadal receptors, at levels that were more than 100 times as high as the levels in other aldosterone-producing adenomas. The mutations stimulate Wnt activation and cause adrenocortical cells to de-differentiate toward their common adrenal-gonadal precursor cell type. (Funded by grants from the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and others.).