The angiotensin II (Ang II) type 2 receptor (AT2R) and the angiotensin-(1–7) (Ang-(1–7)) receptor (MasR) play a cardiovascular protective role by counter-regulating Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R)-mediated effects, but whether this involves blunting of adrenocortical hormone secretion is unknown. We investigated the presence of AT1R, AT2R, and MasR in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA), a condition featuring hyperaldosteronism, and in APA-adjacent tissue. The effect of Compound 21 (C21), an AT2R agonist, on CYP11B1 (cortisol synthase) and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) gene expression in NCI-H295R and HAC15 cell lines, and in APA and APA-adjacent tissue, was also assessed using the AT1R antagonist irbesartan to ascertain the specificity of C21 effect. We found that the AT1R, AT2R, and MasR were expressed in APA and APA-adjacent tissue, albeit heterogeneously. The gene expression of AT1R and AT2R was lower, and that of the MasR higher in APAs than in APA-adjacent tissue. In steroid-producing NCI-H295R and HAC15 cell lines, and in APA and APA-adjacent tissue, C21 was ineffective at nanomolar concentrations, but increased CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 gene expression at micromolar concentrations through AT1R, as this effect was blunted by irbesartan. The scant expression of the AT2R, along with the lack of any effect of C21 at low concentrations on CYP11B2, do not support the contention that the protective arm of renin–angiotensin system (RAS) blunts aldosterone synthase in the normal adrenal cortex and primary aldosteronism.

You do not currently have access to this content.