Pseudohypoaldosteronism (PHA) is characterized by salt-wasting and failure to thrive in the newborn, accompanied by high urinary levels of sodium despite hyponatremia, hyperkalemia and metabolic acidosis, elevation of plasma renin activity, and high plasma aldosterone levels. PHA patients are resistant to mineralocorticoid administration, but their symptoms ameliorate after a period of sodium supplementation, which can be discontinued in older subjects. Binding studies performed on mononuclear leukocytes of the family members affected by the disease have shown the absence of binding of [3H]aldosterone to the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in mononuclear leukocytes in two siblings and a marked reduction in another sibling and the father, suggesting either the absence of MR or a defect in the ligand binding domain of the MR in these patients. Molecular analysis of the MR in the members of this family did not reveal any major rearrangement or deletion of the MR gene. In addition, no mutation was found in the entire MR coding sequence by RT-PCR and direct sequencing of MR mRNA, and the semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis of the MR mRNA of one affected patient failed to show any quantitative abnormality in MR expression. These results do not exclude a molecular abnormality present in the MR gene being responsible for PHA. However, they indicate that in this family PHA is not related to a modification of the MR primary structure or to a major abnormality in MR expression.