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Aragao-Santiago, Leticia; Gomez-Sanchez, Celso E.; Mulatero, Paolo; Spyroglou, Ariadni; Reincke, Martin; Williams, Tracy A. (23. October 2017): Mouse models of primary aldosteronism: from physiology to pathophysiology. In: Endocrinology, Vol. 158, No. 12: pp. 4129-4138


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.