The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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Acta Endocrinologica(Bucharest) is live in PubMed Central

October - December 2020, Volume 16, Issue 4
Clinical review/Extensive clinical experience

Badila E

The Expanding Class of Mineralocorticoid Receptor Modulators: New Ligands for Kidney, Cardiac, Vascular, Systemic and Behavioral Selective Actions

Acta Endo (Buc) 2020, 16 (4): 487-496
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2020.487

This paper reviews the class of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) modulators, especially new nonsteroidal antagonists. MR is a nuclear receptor expressed in many tissues and cell types. Aldosterone, the most important mineralocorticoid hormone and MR agonist, has many unfavorable effects, especially on the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys, by promoting fibrosis and tissue remodelling. Classical synthetic MR antagonists (spironolactone, eplerenone) have proven useful in clinical practice through their antihypertensive effects in resistant forms, and through benefits on morbidity and mortality in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. These benefits are associated with important side effects, hyperkalemia being the main limitation. In the latest years, a new generation of MR modulators with a nonsteroidal structure has emerged. These compounds are more selective than classical MR antagonists, with much higher affinity for the MR than for the glucocorticoid, androgen, or progesterone receptors. Recent clinical and experimental observations suggest that nonsteroidal MR antagonists, especially finerenone, have proven superior renoprotective properties, antiproteinuric efficacy, inhibition of inflammation and heart fibrosis in animal models, without sharing the side effects of steroidal MR antagonists. Nonsteroidal MR modulators represent an interesting new therapeutic approach for the prevention and progression of chronic kidney disease and for patients with heart failure and renal disease. Despite these promising data, there are still many issues to be clarified and it is necessary to accumulate solid evidence from studies on larger numbers of patients and from head-to-head clinical trials.

Keywords: mineralocorticoid receptor, cardiovascular, aldosterone, spironolactone, finerenone.

Correspondence: Elisabeta Badila MD, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 37 Dionisie Lupu Str, Bucharest, Romania, E-mail: