Changes in extracellular matrix in subcutaneous small resistance arteries of patients with primary aldosteronism

Damiano Rizzoni, Silvia Paiardi, Luigi Rodella, Enzo Porteri, Carolina De Ciuceis, Rita Rezzani, Gianluca E M Boari, Francesca Zani, Marco Miclini, Guido A M Tiberio, Stefano M. Giulini, Claudia Agabiti Rosei, Rossella Bianchi, Enrico Agabiti Rosei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context and Objective: It has been previously demonstrated that aldosterone may possess a strong profibrotic action in vitro and in animal models of genetic or experimental hypertension. Our aim was to evaluate whether such a profibrotic action is present also in the human microcirculation. Design and Patients: We investigated 13 patients with primary aldosteronism, seven patients with essential hypertension, and 10 normotensive controls. All subjects were submitted to a biopsy of gluteal sc fat tissue. Small resistance arteries were dissected and mounted on an isometric myograph, and the tunica media to internal lumen ratio was measured. Main Outcome Measures: The total collagen content within the tunica media was detected (Sirius red staining and image analysis), and collagen subtypes were evaluated using polarized light microscopy; under this condition thicker type I collagen fibers appear orange or red, whereas thinner type III collagen fibers are yellow or green. Results: Tunica media to internal lumen ratio was significantly increased in primary aldosteronism and in essential hypertension compared with normotensive controls. Clinic blood pressure values were similar in primary aldosteronism and in essential hypertension, and greater than in normotensive controls. Normotensive controls had less total and type III collagen (3.23 ± 0.58 and 1.60 ± 0.22%, respectively) in respect to the two hypertensive groups (P <0.001). Total collagen and type III vascular collagen were significantly greater in primary aldosteronism (total collagen, 8.17 ± 1.38%; type III collagen, 6.06 ± 0.74%; P <0.05) than in essential hypertension (total collagen, 6.84 ± 1.15%; type III collagen, 5.25 ± 0.80%). Conclusions: Our results indicate that, in small resistance arteries of patients with primary aldosteronism, a pronounced fibrosis may be detected, even more evident than in blood-pressure-matched patients with essential hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2638-2642
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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