To evaluate the potential physiological significance of ouabain or a ouabainlike substance, we investigated the effect of nanomolar concentrations of ouabain on aldosterone release by cultured bovine adrenal glomerulosa cells. Ouabain (10 nM) increased aldosterone release from 0.35 to 0.89 ng · mg-1, 4 h-1 in the serum-containing medium. Losartan prevented this increase. When angiotensinogen was added to the nonserum medium, 10 nM ouabain enhanced the aldosterone release. Losartan again blocked the increase. These findings together with a stimulation of renin release by ouabain indicate that angiotensin II generated by the adrenal cell renin- angiotensin system in the presence of exogenous serum or exogenous angiotensinogen is necessary for the ouabain-induced stimulation of aldosterone release. Ouabain (10 nM) enhanced the intracellular calcium concentration increase elicited by 0.1 nM angiotensin II severalfold. Addition of 1 nM ouabain enhanced the aldosterone secretion resulting from the addition of 1 nM angiotensin II. Nanomolar levels of ouabain, therefore, interact with both locally formed and exogenous angiotensin II to stimulate aldosterone production. A suggested mechanism is that ouabain increases calcium stores in the endoplasmic reticulum, thereby increasing the agonist response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E27-E35
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 33-1
StatePublished - 1996


  • angiotensin II
  • bovine adrenal glomerulosa cells
  • intracellular calcium level
  • primary culture


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