Potential role of progestogens in the control of adipose tissue and salt sensitivity via interaction with the mineralocorticoid receptor

M. Caprio, M. C. Zennaro, B. Fève, C. Mammi, A. Fabbri, G. Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Beside their role in the control of water and electrolyte homeostasis, recent data clearly indicate that aldosterone and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) are involved in adipocyte biology. It has been recently shown that aldosterone promotes white and brown adipocyte differentiation in vitro through specific activation of the MR. In addition, a non-epithelial pro-inflammatory role for MR activation has been recently inferred from studies on mineralocorticoid/salt administration in experimental animal models and from clinical studies. The mineralocorticoid system could hence represent a potential target for new therapeutic strategies in obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Progesterone has high affinity for the MR and is a natural antagonist of aldosterone. Differently from classic synthetic progestins, which are devoid of antimineralocorticoid properties, progesterone and new progestogens show remarkable antimineralocorticoid effects. Here, we discuss the potential role of the antimineralocorticoid properties of progestogens in the control of body weight, adipose tissue proliferation and salt sensitivity; their therapeutic use in postmenopausal women, as well as in women affected by polycystic ovary syndrome, may open new and unexpected possibilities in the treatment of related metabolic disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-264
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008



  • Adipocyte
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Mineralocorticoid receptor
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Progestogens
  • Salt sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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