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Under the microscope: aldosterone

This month: aldosterone

What is aldosterone?

A steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. It serves as the principal regulator of the salt and water balance of the body.

Has it been in the news?

It has been linked to an increased risk of kidney failure in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published in the European Heart Journal.

Tell me more.

The findings suggest aldosterone plays a role in CKD progression and an existing drug that targets the action of aldosterone may help to prevent CKD getting worse.

Which drug is this?

Ashish Verma, Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine, said: “Recent randomised controlled trials have shown that a drug called finerenone is effective in delaying CKD progression and adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease and diabetes. However, the role of aldosterone in this process was not directly investigated.”

How does finerenone function?

Finerenone targets the non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor. When this is activated by aldosterone, elevated levels of the hormone lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

What is the relationship between aldosterone and finerenone?

Since excessive aldosterone is very common, yet mostly unrecognised, the authors hypothesised that one reason finerenone was effective in lowering the risk of CKD progression was that it was treating unrecognised high concentrations of the hormone.

Where can I read more?

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Image credit | Shutterstock

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