Objectives: This study investigated whether galectin (Gal)-3 inhibition could block aldosterone-induced cardiac and renal fibrosis and improve cardiorenal dysfunction.
Background: Aldosterone is involved in cardiac and renal fibrosis that is associated with the development of cardiorenal injury. However, the mechanisms of these interactions remain unclear. Gal-3, a β-galactoside-binding lectin, is increased in heart failure and kidney injury.
Methods: Rats were treated with aldosterone-salt combined with spironolactone (a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist) or modified citrus pectin (a Gal-3 inhibitor), for 3 weeks. Wild-type and Gal-3 knockout mice were treated with aldosterone for 3 weeks. Hemodynamic, cardiac, and renal parameters were analyzed.
Results: Hypertensive aldosterone-salt-treated rats presented cardiac and renal hypertrophy (at morphometric, cellular, and molecular levels) and dysfunction. Cardiac and renal expressions of Gal-3 as well as levels of molecular markers attesting fibrosis were also augmented by aldosterone-salt treatment. Spironolactone or modified citrus pectin treatment reversed all of these effects. In wild-type mice, aldosterone did not alter blood pressure levels but increased cardiac and renal Gal-3 expression, fibrosis, and renal epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Gal-3 knockout mice were resistant to aldosterone effects.
Conclusions: In experimental hyperaldosteronism, the increase in Gal-3 expression was associated with cardiac and renal fibrosis and dysfunction but was prevented by pharmacological inhibition (modified citrus pectin) or genetic disruption of Gal-3. These data suggest a key role for Gal-3 in cardiorenal remodeling and dysfunction induced by aldosterone. Gal-3 could be used as a new biotarget for specific pharmacological interventions.
Keywords: aldosterone; biomarker; cardiorenal injury; collagen; galectin-3.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.