Acute effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism on vascular function in healthy older adults. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation by aldosterone may regulate vascular function in health or contribute to vascular dysfunction in cardiovascular disease. Whether the effects are beneficial or detrimental to vascular function appear to be dependent on the integrity of the vascular endothelium and whether the responses are short-term or chronic. Acute modulation of MR activation has resulted in conflicting outcomes on vascular function in young healthy adults. Little is known about the vascular role of aldosterone and MR activation in healthy human aging. The primary objective of this study was to examine whether acute inhibition of MR by the selective antagonist eplerenone, influences vascular function in healthy older adults. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study in 22 adults (611 years; meanSE, 53-79 years) who were free from overt clinical cardiovascular disease. We measured brachial artery flow-mediated endothelium-dependent dilation and endothelium-independent dilation to sublingual nitroglycerin (0.4 mg) following eplerenone (100 mg/dose, 2 doses, 24h between doses) or placebo. In response to acute MR antagonism, flow-mediated dilation decreased by 19% (from 6.90.5 to 5.60.6%, P=0.02; placebo vs. eplerenone). Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity also decreased following MR antagonism based on the ratio of phosphorylated eNOS(Ser1177) to total eNOS (1.530.08 vs. 1.290.06, P=0.02). Nitroglycerin-induced dilation and blood pressure were unaffected (nitroglycerin-induced dilation: 21.91.9 vs. 21.01.5%, P=0.5 and systolic/diastolic blood pressure: 135/774/2 vs. 134/774/2 mmHg, P0.6). In conclusion, acute MR antagonism impairs vascular endothelial function in healthy older adults without influencing vascular smooth muscle responsiveness to exogenous nitric oxide or blood pressure.

published proceedings

  • Exp Gerontol

author list (cited authors)

  • Hwang, M., Yoo, J., Luttrell, M., Kim, H., Meade, T. H., English, M., ... Christou, D. D.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Hwang, Moon-Hyon||Yoo, Jeung-Ki||Luttrell, Meredith||Kim, Han-Kyul||Meade, Thomas H||English, Mark||Talcott, Susanne||Jaffe, Iris Z||Christou, Demetra D

publication date

  • January 2016