The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) was first identified as a blood pressure regulator, modulating renal sodium handling in response to its principal ligand aldosterone. The mineralocorticoid receptor is also expressed in many tissues other than the kidney, such as adipose tissue, heart and vasculature. Recent studies have shown that MR plays a relevant role in the control of cardiovascular and metabolic function, as well as in adipogenesis. Dysregulation of aldosterone/MR signaling represents an important cause of disease as high plasma levels of aldosterone are associated with hypertension, obesity and increased cardiovascular risk. Aldosterone displays powerful vascular effects and acts as a potent pro-fibrotic agent in cardiovascular remodeling. Mineralocorticoid receptor activation regulates genes involved in vascular and cardiac fibrosis, calcification and inflammation. This review focuses on the role of novel potential biomarkers related to aldosterone/MR system that could help identify cardiovascular and metabolic detrimental conditions, as a result of altered MR activation. Specifically, we discuss: (1) how MR signaling regulates the number and function of different subpopulations of circulating and intra-tissue immune cells; (2) the role of aldosterone/MR system in mediating cardiometabolic diseases induced by obesity; and (3) the role of several MR downstream molecules as novel potential biomarkers of cardiometabolic diseases, end-organ damage and rehabilitation outcome.
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