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

Aldosterone-sensitive neurons in the rat central nervous system.

The purpose of this study was to identify brain sites that may be sensitive to the adrenal steroid aldosterone. After a survey of the entire brain for mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) immunoreactivity, we discovered unique clusters of dense nuclear and perinuclear MR in a restricted distribution within the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). These same cells were found to contain the glucocorticoid-inactivating enzyme 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (HSD2), a signature of aldosterone-sensitive tissues. Immunoreactivity for various other NTS marker molecules failed to colocalize with HSD2 in these putative aldosterone target neurons, so they may represent a unique neuronal phenotype. Finally, the entire rat CNS was examined for evidence of HSD2 protein expression. Outside the NTS, HSD2-immunoreactive neurons were found in only two other sites: the ventrolateral division of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus and a few scattered neurons in the medial vestibular nucleus, just rostral to the NTS. HSD2 immunoreactivity was also found in the ependymal cells that form the subcommissural organ. In summary, few brain sites contain neurons that may be aldosterone sensitive, and only one of these sites, the NTS, contains neurons that express HSD2 and contain dense nuclear MR. The HSD2 neurons in the NTS may represent an important target for aldosterone action in the brain.[1]


  1. Aldosterone-sensitive neurons in the rat central nervous system. Geerling, J.C., Kawata, M., Loewy, A.D. J. Comp. Neurol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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