The mineralocorticoid signaling pathway throughout development: expression, regulation and pathophysiological implications

Biochimie. 2013 Feb;95(2):148-57. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.09.030. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


The mineralocorticoid signaling pathway has gained interest over the past few years, considering not only its implication in numerous pathologies but also its emerging role in physiological processes during kidney, brain, heart and lung development. This review aims at describing the setting and regulation of aldosterone biosynthesis and the expression of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a nuclear receptor mediating aldosterone action in target tissues, during the perinatal period. Specificities concerning MR expression and regulation during the development of several major organs are highlighted. We provide evidence that MR expression is tightly controlled in a tissue-specific manner during development, which could have major pathophysiological implications in the neonatal period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / biosynthesis
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Aldosterone / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Lung / embryology
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid / genetics*
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid / metabolism
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • NR3C2 protein, human
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid
  • Aldosterone