GPER-1 and Estrogen Receptor-? Ligands Modulate Aldosterone Synthesis.
Fertile women have lower blood pressure and cardiovascular risk than age-matched men, which suggests that estrogens exert cardiovascular protective effects. However, whether 17 ?-estradiol (E2) blunts aldosterone secretion, and thereby affects the gender dimorphism of blood pressure, is unknown. We therefore sought for the estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes in human adrenocortical tissues ex vivo by performing gene and protein expression studies. We also investigated the effect of E2 on aldosterone synthesis and the involved receptors through in vitro functional experiments in the adrenocortical cells HAC15. We found that in the human adrenal cortex and aldosterone-producing adenoma cells, the most expressed ERs were the ER? and the G protein-coupled receptor-1 (GPER-1), respectively. After selective ER? blockade, E2 (10 nmol/L) markedly increased both the expression of aldosterone synthase and the production of aldosterone (+5- to 7-fold vs baseline, P < .001). Under the same condition, the GPER-1 receptor agonist 1-[4-(6-bromo-benzo (1, 3)dioxol-5-yl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c] quinolin-8-yl]-ethanone (G-1) (10 nmol/L) mimicked this effect, which was abrogated by cotreatment with either the GPER-1 receptor antagonist (3aS*,4R*,9bR*)-4-(6-Bro-mo-1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-3a,4,5,9b-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline (G-15), or a selective protein kinase A inhibitor 8-Bromo-2-monobutyryladenosine-3,5-cyclic mono-phosphorothioate, Rp-isomer. Silencing of the ER? significantly raised aldosterone synthase expression and aldosterone production. Conversely, silencing of the GPER-1 lowered aldosterone synthase gene and protein expression. Moreover, it blunted the stimulatory effect of E2 on aldosterone synthase that was seen during ER? blockade. These results support the conclusion that in humans, E2 inhibits aldosterone synthesis by acting via ER?. Pharmacologic disinhibition of ER? unmasks a potent secretagogue effect of E2 that involves GPER-1 and protein kinase A signaling.