DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00419.2023 ISSN: 0363-6135

Aldosterone and Aldosterone Synthase Inhibitors in Cardiorenal Disease

Subodh Verma, Avinash Pandey, Arjun K Pandey, Javed Butler, John S Lee, Hwee Teoh, C. David Mazer, Mikhail N Kosiborod, Francesco Cosentino, Stefan D. Anker, Kim A. Connelly, Deepak L Bhatt
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology

Modulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is a foundation of therapy for cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Excess aldosterone plays an important role in cardiovascular disease, contributing to inflammation, fibrosis and dysfunction in the heart, kidneys, and vasculature through both genomic, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR)-mediated, as well as non-genomic mechanisms. MR antagonists have been a key therapy for attenuating the pathologic effects of aldosterone but are associated with some side effects and may not always adequately attenuate the non-genomic effects of aldosterone. Aldosterone is primarily synthesized by the CYP11B2 aldosterone synthase enzyme, which is very similar in structure to other enzymes involved in steroid biosynthesis including CYP11B1, a key enzyme is involved in glucocorticoid production. Lack of specificity for CYP11B2, off-target effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and counterproductive increased levels of bioactive steroid intermediates such as 11-deoxycorticosterone have posed challenges in the development of early aldosterone synthase inhibitors such as osilodrostat. In early phase clinical trials, newer aldosterone synthase inhibitors demonstrated promise in lowering blood pressure in patients with treatment-resistant and uncontrolled hypertension. It is therefore plausible that these agents offer protection in other disease states including heart failure or chronic kidney disease. Further clinical evaluation will be needed to clarify the role of aldosterone synthase inhibitors, a promising class of agents which represent a potentially major therapeutic advance.

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