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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Renal inactivation, mineralocorticoid generation, and 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibition ameliorate the antimineralocorticoid effect of progesterone in vivo.

Progesterone (P) is a strong mineralocorticoid receptor ( MR) antagonist in vitro. The high P concentrations seen in normal pregnancy only moderately increase renin and aldosterone concentrations. In previous in vitro studies we hypothesized that this may be explained by intrarenal conversion of P to less potent metabolites. To investigate the in vivo anti- MR potency of P, we performed an infusion study in patients with adrenal insufficiency (n = 8). They omitted 9alpha-fluorocortisol for 4 d and hydrocortisone for 0.5 d before a continuous iv infusion of aldosterone for 8.5 h, with an additional iv P infusion commenced at 4 h. During aldosterone infusions the initially elevated urinary sodium to potassium ratio decreased significantly. Despite the 1000-fold excess of P over aldosterone, the urinary sodium to potassium ratio and urinary sodium excretion increased only slightly after 3 h of P infusion. We detected inhibition of renal 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 by P, thus giving cortisol/prednisolone access to the MR. Urinary and plasma concentrations of 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone, a major metabolite of renal P metabolism, and those of serum androstenedione and deoxycorticosterone, a mineralocorticoid itself, increased significantly during P infusion. This supports the hypothesis of an effective protection of the MR from P by efficient extraadrenal downstream conversion of P.[1]


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