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Julia Morera and Yves Reznik

The strategy for diagnosis of primary aldosteronism (PA) in the hypertensive population includes firstly a screening step, based on the measurement of plasma aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR), a test which must have high sensitivity, and secondly a confirmatory step based on the demonstration of excessive aldosterone production independent of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activity. The high proportion of false-positive ARR results and conversely of actual PA without a persistent elevation in baseline plasma aldosterone concentration necessitates the addition of a confirmatory step in the work-up of PA diagnosis. The present review focuses on the description of the different dynamic tests available for demonstrating autonomy of aldosterone secretion, on the performance and limitations of confirmatory tests and on possible strategies for PA diagnosis which may either include or avoid the confirmatory step for PA diagnosis. Large prospective studies comparing different strategies with and without dynamic testing are mandatory to delineate clearly the role and limits of confirmatory tests in the work-up of PA.

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Mohamad Khalaf, Julia Morera, Antoine Bourret, Yves Reznik, Christine Denoual, Michel Herlicoviez, Hervé Mittre and Annie Benhaim

Background

The bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are growth factors involved in the folliculogenesis. Alteration in their expression may compromise the reproductive process in disease such as the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study investigated the expression and role of granulosa cell (GC) BMP from normal cycling and PCOS women.

Methods and results

This prospective study was performed in GCs obtained from 14 patients undergoing IVF: i) six women with normal ovulatory cycles and tubal or male infertility and ii) eight women with PCOS. BMP2, BMP4, BMP5, BMP6, BMP7, and BMP8A and their receptors BMPR1A, BMPR1B, and BMPR2 were identified by RT-PCR in GCs from normally cycling and PCOS women. BMP4, BMP6, and BMP7 expressions were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Quantitative transcript analysis showed the predominant expression of BMP6. In GCs from PCOS women, an overexpression of BMP6 (P<0.01) and BMPR1A mRNA (P<0.05) was observed. GC culture experiments demonstrated that basal estradiol (E2) production was threefold higher but FSH-induced E2 increment was twofold lower in PCOS compared with controls. In PCOS, BMP6 and BMP7 exerted a stimulatory effect on basal E2 production while BMP4 and BMP6 inhibited FSH-induced E2 production. FSH receptor and aromatase expression were not different between both groups.

Conclusion

The BMP system is expressed in human GCs from normal cycling and PCOS women. The BMP may be involved in reproductive abnormalities found in PCOS.