Mineralocorticoids are a group of steroid hormones that principally effect the balance of electrolytes and water in the body. The most important mineralocorticoid is aldosterone, which is manufactured by the adrenal glands, specifically in the outer layer called the adrenal cortex. The regulation of mineralocorticoid secretion is primarily controlled by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
Functions of Aldosterone:
Aldosterone acts on the kidneys to increase the reabsorption of sodium. This results in increased sodium levels in the blood. It promotes the excretion of potassium by the kidneys, helping to regulate potassium levels in the body. By influencing sodium reabsorption, aldosterone indirectly affects water retention. As sodium is retained, water follows, helping to maintain blood volume and blood pressure.
Aldosterone also maintains the acid-base balance in the body by influencing the excretion of hydrogen ions and reabsorption of bicarbonate in the kidneys. The release of aldosterone is chiefly stimulated by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which responds to factors such as low blood pressure, reduced sodium levels or increasedpotassium levels. Aldosterone acts on the kidneys to enhancethe reabsorption of sodium and water while increasing the excretion of potassium.
Normal Range of aldosterone in serum is less than 15 ng/ml.
Hyperaldosteronism or Conn’s Syndrome is a condition where overproduction of aldosterone by the adrenal glands is observed as a result of the tumor or hyperplasia of adrenal glands. This can cause hypertension, hypokalemia and metabolic alkalosis.
Hypoaldosteronism or Addison’s disease is a disorder in which insufficient production of adrenal hormones occurs produced by autoimmune destruction of the adrenal cortex. This results into hypotension, hyperkalemiaand other metabolic imbalances.