Permissive role of α-tocopherol in the stimulation of aldosterone by sodium depletion in the guinea pig

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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Möbius K, Redmann A, Hiller HH, Oelkers W, Bähr V. Permissive role of α-tocopherol in the stimulation of aldosterone by sodium depletion in the guinea pig. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;134:758–63. ISSN 0804–4643

To investigate the role of vitamin E in aldosterone synthesis, in vivo and in vitro studies were done in α-tocopherol-depleted guinea pigs. Seventy-one days of low vitamin E intake (< 5 mg/kg feed) reduced the concentration of α-tocopherol in serum, liver and adrenals to low levels with no signs of hypovitaminosis. Aldosterone secretion was stimulated by 15 days on a low sodium diet (200 mg/kg feed) in controls and vitamin E-depleted animals. Sodium depletion in controls stimulated plasma aldosterone by 335%. Vitamin E depletion reduced the stimulation of plasma aldosterone to only 112% (p < 0.05). In vitro aldosterone secretion by adrenal cells from sodium-depleted animals was 252% higher than secretion by cells from controls. This enhancement of in vitro aldosterone secretion following in vivo sodium depletion was abolished completely by combined in vivo vitamin E and sodium depletion (p < 0.05). No significant differences between groups were found for plasma renin activity, adrenocorticotrophin and serum potassium, suggesting that intra-adrenal mechanisms like damage by enhanced lipid peroxidation in α-tocopherol-depleted animals rather than changes in humoral aldosterone-regulating factors are the cause of the attenuated aldosterone response to sodium depletion.

Volker Bähr, Abteilung Endokrinologie, Medizinische Klinik, Klinikum Benjamin Franklin, Freie Universität Berlin, Hindenburgdamm 30, D-12000 Berlin, Germany

 

     European Society of Endocrinology

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