Fatty acids are potential endogenous regulators of aldosterone secretion

Theodore L. Goodfriend, Dennis L. Ball, Mary E. Elliott, Aubrey R. Morrison, Merle A. Evenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Adrenal glomerulosa cells washed with delipi- dated albumin produced increased amounts of aldosterone in response to angiotensin-II (AII) or (Bu)2cAMP. Albumin treatment also increased binding of 125I-labeled AII to high affinity binding sites on adrenal cells. Lipid extracts of albumin solutions that were used to wash cells inhibited AII binding and aldosterone responses by washed glomerulosa cells. Chromatographic fractionation and mass spectroscopic analysis indicated that the inhibitors removed from cells by albumin were long chain fatty acids. Exogenous fatty acids not only inhibited AII binding, but they inhibited basal aldosterone production and increments in aldosterone caused by All or dbcAMP, suggesting an effect on postreceptor steps in aldosteronogenesis. The most potent and most abundant fatty acids removed from adrenal cells were oleic, linoleic, and arachidonic. These fatty acids inhibited at micromolar concentrations in the absence of albumin and at somewhat higher concentrations in its presence. Cells that had been washed, then inhibited by exogenous oleic acid in vitro, were restored to their enhanced responsiveness by a second albumin wash, making it unlikely that cell damage is the mechanism of inhibition by fatty acids. Responses of fasciculata cells were not potentiated by albumin washes, and cortisol production was less sensitive than aldosterone production to exogenous fatty acids. Binding of ANP to glomerulosa cells was not affected by albumin or fatty acids. These results combined with clinical correlations make it plausible that unesterified fatty acids are naturally occurring regulators of the adrenal glomerulosa. Insulin’s ability to lower plasma levels of fatty acids may be one way that it causes sodium retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2511-2519
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1991


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