Differential expression of type 1 angiotensin II receptor mRNA and aldosterone responsiveness to angiotensin in aldosterone-producing adenoma

Yung Ming Chen, Kwan Dun Wu, Mi I. Hu-Tsai, Jan Show Chu, Ming Kuen Lai, Bor Shen Hsieh

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Aldosterone secretion in most patients with aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) is typically unresponsive to angiotensin II stimulation (AII- unresponsive, AII-U). In some patients, however, plasma aldosterone increases in response to AII stimulation (All-responsive, AII-R). This differential aldosterone responsiveness could be related to the levels of type 1 AII receptors (AT1R) in the APA. To test this hypothesis, plasma aldosterone levels in response to upright posture and/or sequential high- and low-salt diets were measured by radioimmunoassay in nine patients with APAs. AT1R mRNA levels in the adenomas were quantified by competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and correlated to the cellular composition of the adenoma. Two patients were categorised as AII-R by an increase of plasma aldosterone greater than 50% over the baseline. The remaining seven patients who had blunted plasma aldosterone responses were classified as AII-U. Histologically, the AII-R APAs consisted predominantly of zona glomerulosa (ZG)-like cells (> 90%), while the AII-U APAs contained zona fasciculata (ZF)-like cells ranging from 28 to 72%. There was an inverse relationship between the levels of AT1R mRNA in the APA and the percentage of ZF-like cells in the adenoma (n = 9, r = 0.73, P <0.05). In situ hybridisation findings demonstrated that AT R mRNA was more uniform and intensive in ZG-like cells than in ZF-like cells. These results suggest that heterogenous aldosterone responsiveness to angiotensin in APAs is histologically dependent and related to the differential expression of AT1R mRNA in the adenoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 25 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aldosterone responsiveness
  • Angiotensin II receptor
  • Primary aldosteronism
  • Zona fasciculata
  • Zona glomerulosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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