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Stress has been reported to activate the locus coeruleus (LC)-noradrenergic system. In this study, corticosterone (CORT) was orally administrated to rats for 21 days to mimic stress status. In situ hybridization measurements showed that CORT ingestion significantly increased mRNA levels of norepinephrine transporter (NET) and dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) in the LC region. Immunofluorescence staining and western blotting revealed that CORT treatment also increased protein levels of NET and DBH in the LC, as well as NET protein levels in the hippocampus, the frontal cortex and the amygdala. However, CORT-induced increase in DBH protein levels only appeared in the hippocampus and the amygdala. Elevated NET and DBH expression in most of these areas (except for NET protein levels in the LC) was abolished by simultaneous treatment with combination of corticosteroid receptor antagonist mifepristone and spironolactone (s.c. for 21 days). Also, treatment with mifepristone alone prevented CORT-induced increases of NET expression and DBH protein levels in the LC. In addition, behavioral tasks showed that CORT ingestion facilitated escape in avoidance trials using an elevated T-maze, but interestingly, there was no significant effect on the escape trial. Corticosteroid receptor antagonists failed to counteract this response in CORT-treated rats. In the open-field task, CORT treatment resulted in less activity in a defined central zone compared to controls and corticosteroid receptor antagonist treatment alleviated this increase. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that chronic exposure to CORT results in a phenotype that mimics stress-induced alteration of noradrenergic phenotypes, but the effects on behavior are task dependent. As the sucrose consumption test strongly suggests CORT ingestion-induced depression-like behavior, further elucidation of underlying mechanisms may improve our understanding of the correlation between stress and the development of depression.
In RALES, low doses of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist spironolactone, added to standard of care for severe heart failure, improved survival by 30% and lowered hospitalization by 35%. Animal studies with the selective MR antagonist eplerenone have similarly shown MR blockade to prevent the cerebral, renal and coronary vascular inflammatory response to elevated aldosterone levels. There is now general acceptance that aldosterone concentrations inappropriate for salt status have major deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system. In many instances, however (e.g. Randomized Aldactone Evaluation Study (RALES), EPHESUS) aldosterone levels are normal and salt status unremarkable and yet MR blockade has unquestioned benefits. In these instances, there is increasing evidence that coronary and cardiac MR are activated by normal circulating cortisol levels, in the cellular context of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and/or alteration in intracellular redox status. MR in VSMC and cardiomyocytes are normally predominantly occupied by cortisol in tonic inhibitory mode. Blockade of 11beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II (11betaHSD2) or ROS generation both serve to activate cortisol-MR complexes, thus mimicking the effects of mineralocorticoid/salt imbalance on blood vessels and the heart. In RALES and EPHESUS, it is likely that the antagonists are blocking normal levels of cortisol, not aldosterone, from activating MR in the context of tissue damage and ROS generation. If this is the case, MR antagonists may be of wide therapeutic potential in cardiovascular disease and not confined to those characterized by aldosterone/salt excess. Finally, the pathophysiologic roles of always-occupied MR in 'unprotected' tissues such as cardiomyocytes or neurons in response to altered intracellular redox status remain to be explored.
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The affect of polymorphism in the development of generic drug products is discussed. The desired polymorphic form is used based upon the ability to manufacture a bioequivalent product. The critical issues are control of the polymorphic form of the drug substance and the dissolution behavior of the drug product.
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The combination of an aldosterone inhibitor with a direct renin inhibitor proved to be of greater benefit for cardiac structural and electrical remodeling in this experimental model of hypertension than aliskiren alone.
MC proliferation was measured by the incorporation of 3H-thymidine (3H-TdR). Cx43 was over-expressed in MC cells using lipofectamine 2000, and the expression level was tested with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analyses. The gap junction channel function was explored by Lucifer Yellow scrape loading and dye transfer (SLDT), and the intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca(2+)]i) were characterized by confocal microscopy on cells loaded with Fura-3/AM.
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An analysis of case reports of pseudoaldosteronism with rhabdomyolysis revealed that in Japan, most cases occurred in elderly women with essential hypertension and were caused by drugs such as herbal medicines. In contrast, in other countries, many cases involved younger men, and the dominant causes were foods containing licorice. The use of herbal medicines is increasing all over the world, and when a patient with risk factors is prescribed an herbal medicine containing licorice, careful follow-up is required.
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Of those physiological factors which have been examined in this study, age and total body weight were most closely correlated with digoxin clearance. Data on neonates within the first postnatal month indicated a tendency towards lower clearance for premature neonates than full-term neonates (P<0.01). Digoxin clearance was reduced by spironolactone in patients younger than 4 months (P<0.05). Patients with congestive heart failure showed a lower digoxin clearance than the others (P<0.001). Serum creatinine and gender did not have a statistically significant effect on digoxin clearance.
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In vivo studies have demonstrated that aldosterone is an independent contributor to glomerulosclerosis. In the present study, we have investigated whether aldosterone itself mediated glomerulosclerosis, as angiotensin II (Ang II) did, by inducing cultured renal mesangial cells to produce plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and whether these effects were mediated by aldosterone-induced increase in transforming growth factor beta(1) (TGF-beta(1)) expression and cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) activity. Quiescent rat mesangial cells were treated by aldosterone alone or by combination of aldosterone and spironolactone, Ang II, neutralizing antibody to TGF-beta(1) or antioxidant Nacetylcysteme (NAC). This study indicate that aldosterone can increase PAI-1 mRNA and protein expression by cultured mesangial cells alone, which is independent of aldosterone-induced increases in TGF-beta(1) expression and cellular ROS. The effects on PAI-1, TGF-beta(1) and ROS generation were markedly attenuated by spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist, which demonstrate that mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) may play a role in mediating these effects of aldosterone.
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Aldosterone is present and active all along the cardiovascular continuum. Excessive tissue production occurs in cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction (MI) and heart failure, resulting in a multitude of adverse effects in the cardiovascular system necessitating pharmacologic blockade of this neurohormone. Both human and animal studies have consistently proven the beneficial effects of antialdosteronics in the improvement of: 1) endothelial function, 2) modulation of inflammatory mechanisms between blood and the vascular wall and 3) reduction of tissue proliferation and cardiovascular remodeling leading to different severities of cardiovascular damage. These basic mechanisms of anti-aldosterone therapy strongly support the promising data observed in major clinical trials with aldosterone blockers in cardiovascular diseases, specially in heart failure patients. Whereas aldosterone receptor blockers were initially viewed as potassium-sparing diuretics there has been a clear change of concept in the past 10 years, mainly following the positive results of RALES with spironolactone in chronic heart failure, followed by EPHESUS using eplerenone in patients with systolic dysfunction post MI. The significant positive results in both studies were a clear support for the inclusion of this pharmacologic intervention as first line treatment in most international guidelines for the management of heart failure. More recent and ongoing studies are exploring the usefulness of this type of intervention in preventing vascular and myocardial hypertrophy and remodeling in refractory hypertensive and some hyperfibrotic syndromes. There are also provocative studies investigating in the possibility of inhibiting atherosclerosis. More recently, some studies are suggesting the benefit of aldosterone blockade in sleep apnea. In addition, two large multicentric trials, TOPCAT and EMPHASIS are analyzing the potential use of antialdosteronics in patients with cardiac insufficiency and preserved systolic function and the possibility of extending their indication in systolic heart failure to Phase II respectively. New compounds, blocking the synthesis of aldosterone instead of blocking its receptor are being developed, and initial Phase 2 studies are positive. All of the above results are very interesting, show an optimistic future and are consolidating and enlarging the spectrum of aldosterone blockade in cardiovascular disorders every day.
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24 h-urine samples could be collected in 85 infants between 8 and 40 days. 31 infants received dexamethasone and 32 spironolactone.
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The blockade of mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) has been shown to be an invaluable therapy in heart failure and hypertension. To date, only two steroidal antimineralocorticoids, spironolactone (and its active metabolite canrenone) and eplerenone, have been approved, whereas novel non-steroidal compounds are in preclinical and early development. The careful investigation of the efficacy and tolerance of spironolactone in essential hypertension initially supported the idea that a more selective second generation of MR antagonists is desired for chronic treatment of cardiovascular diseases. More than 40 years went by between the approval of the first MR antagonist spironolactone and the market introduction of its sole successor, eplerenone. The molecular pharmacology of MR antagonists may be addressed at different levels. Available preclinical and clinical data of the two approved steroidal antimineralocorticoids allow a good comparison of potency and selectivity of MR antagonists and their pharmacokinetic properties. The search for novel generations of MR antagonists with the ultimate goal of a more tissue selective mode of action may require novel compounds that are differentiated with respect to the binding mode to the MR. Other factors that may contribute to tissue selectivity as e.g. the physicochemical properties of a drug and how they influence the resulting pharmacology in the context of tissue selective co-factor expression are even less well understood. In the following we will review these aspects and demonstrate that the molecular pharmacology of current MR antagonists is on the one hand far from well understood and, on the other hand, still offers room for improvements.
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We report the first case of acute renal failure with hyperkalemia associated with the recently marketed direct renin inhibitor aliskiren. To optimize blood pressure control, the antihypertensive medication of a 76-year-old hypertensive female patient was changed from the angiotensin II receptor antagonist irbesartan to aliskiren. Spironolactone was continued, as serum creatinine and potassium levels were initially normal. Two weeks later the patient presented with acute oliguric renal failure, symptomatic hyperkalemia and metabolic acidosis, necessitating emergency dialytic treatment. Unrecognized pre-existing renal insufficiency (CKD Stage 2 - 3) and the continuation of spironolactone were identified as predisposing risk factors.
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Retrospective study of patients treated at King Abdulaziz Medical City from 20022008.
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Hepatic encephalopathy (HE), severe episodes of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) and pleural effusions (PE) occurred more frequently in Group C. Improvement in Child-Pugh and MELD score was better in Group A and B than Group C. In Group B, improvements were seen in the Child-Pugh and MELD score, reduction in body weight, duration and number of hospitalization. In Groups A and B, remarkable increases in diuresis were observed (706±116 to 2425±633 mL and 691±111 to 2405±772 mL) and serum sodium levels also improved. HE and SBP were occurred more often in group C (p<0.002). Hospitalization decreased significantly in Group B (p<0.001). There was no significant difference in survival among groups.
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Glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors are ligand-activated transcription factors that belong to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. Little is known about the function of GR and MR in avian species. Recently, the chicken homologue of the GR (cGR) gene was cloned, and its tissue-specific expression was characterized, whereas the full-length sequence of the chicken MR (cMR) gene remains unknown. Therefore, the aims of this project were to clone the full-length cMR and to functionally characterize both chicken receptors. Cos-7 cells were transiently transfected with cGR or cMR expression vectors along with a glucocorticoid response element-luciferase (GRE-Luc) reporter construct. Transfected cells were then treated with increasing doses of corticosterone (CORT) or aldosterone (ALDO) alone and with GR or MR antagonists (ZK98299 and spironolactone, respectively). Transactivation of cGR or cMR was evaluated by luciferase assay. CORT and ALDO induced cGR- and cMR-driven transcriptional activity in a dose-dependent manner. Each receptor responded to both steroids, but cMR transcriptional activity was induced by lower levels of CORT and ALDO than cGR. Coexpression of both chicken corticosteroid receptors in Cos-7 cells had no synergistic or additive effect on CORT- or ALDO-induced transcriptional activity. Corticosteroid-dependent transactivation of cGR and cMR was partially blocked by antagonists. ZK98299 showed high specificity to cGR, while spironolactone had agonist properties toward both receptors. Immunocytochemistry was used to assess the cellular localization of both receptors. Corticosteroids induced translocation of both receptors into the nucleus. The functional properties of cGR and cMR determined in this study will be helpful in defining the physiological roles of GR and MR in avian species.
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It is possible that by inhibiting angiogenesis, spironolactone treatment negatively impairs testicular morphology and functional (vas deferens) pathways. Varicocele formation seems to elicit an increase to 5-HT sensitivity in rat vas deferens, and this process is prevented by spironolactone pretreatment.
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There are few studies available comparing the efficacy of loop and distal diuretics and a combination of the two groups, in the treatment of ascites due to liver disease. Thirty-seven nonazotemic cirrhotic patients with ascites were randomly allocated to receive for 2 weeks bumetanide (group A, n = 13), spironolactone (group B, n = 12) or a combination of the two drugs (group C, n = 12) after a 5-day stabilization period. The response to the treatment was 69, 42 and 83% in groups A, B and C, respectively; the difference was not significant. Hypokalemia was seen in 4 patients of group A and mild hyperkalemia in 2 patients of group B. Electrolyte disturbances were minimal in patients of group C. The response to diuretic treatment was prompt in groups A and C. It can be concluded that a combination of loop and distal diuretics is superior to a one-drug regimen in achieving a rapid and better diuretic response with fewer side effects.
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It is no a secret that we are confronted by an alarmingly increasing number of patients with progressive renal disease. There is ample evidence for the notion that angiotensin II (Ang II) is a major culprit in progression. The vasopeptide Ang II turned out to have also multiple nonhemodynamic pathophysiologic actions on the kidney, including proinflammatory and profibrogenic effects. Diverse complex Ang II generating systems have been identified, including specifically local tissue-specific renin-angiotensin systems (RAS). For example, proximal tubular cells have all components required for a functional RAS capable of synthesizing Ang II. On the other hand, Ang II is not the only effector of the RAS and other peptides generated by the RAS influence renal function and structure as well. Moreover, the discoveries that Ang II can be generated by enzymes other than angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and that Ang II and other RAS derived peptides bind to various receptors with different functional consequences have further added to the complexity of this system. Several major clinical trials have clearly shown that ACE inhibitor treatment slows the progression of renal diseases, including in diabetic nephropathy. Well-controlled studies demonstrated that this effect is in part independent of blood pressure control. More recently, with Ang II type 1 receptor (AT(1)) receptor antagonists a similarly protective effect on renal function was seen in patients with type 2 diabetes. Neither ACE inhibitor treatment nor AT(1) receptor blockade completely abrogate progression of renal disease. A recently introduced novel therapeutic approach is combination treatment comprising both ACE inhibitor and AT(1) receptor antagonists. The rationale for this approach is based on several considerations. Small-scale clinical studies, mainly of crossover design, documented that combination therapy is more potent in reducing proteinuria in patients with different chronic renal diseases. Blood pressure as an important confounder was, however, significantly lower in the majority of this studies in the combination treatment arms compared to the respective monotherapies. In a recent prospective study Japanese authors avoided this confounder and demonstrated that combination therapy reduced hard end-points (end stage renal failure or doubling of serum creatinine concentration) by 50% compared to the respective monotherapies. This effect could not be explained by a more pronounced reduction of blood pressure in the combination therapy group. Although these results are encouraging, administration of combination therapy should be reserved currently to special high risk groups. Further studies are necessary to confirm these promising results. It is possible that combination therapy may increase the risk of hyperkalemia, particularly when with coadministered with medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or spironolactone. In our opinion patients with proteinuria >1 g/day despite optimal blood pressure control under RAS-blocking monotherapy are a high-risk group which will presumably benefit from combination therapy.