Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that the type I 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, a steroidogenic enzyme encoded by the HSD3B1 gene, could be involved in aldosterone production and that genetic variation in HSD3B1 is associated with blood pressure. These findings challenge the long-standing hypothesis that all adrenocortical steroidogenesis is executed by the type II iso-enzyme, encoded by HSD3B2. METHODS: To verify these findings, the adrenal presence of HSD3B1 and its effect on aldosterone synthesis and blood pressure were studied in expression and genetic association analyses, respectively. Expression of HSD3B1 and HSD3B2 was investigated in various adrenocortical tissues (n = 15) and in primary adrenal cell cultures (n = 5) after stimulation with adrenocorticotropin and angiotensin II. Six tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms within the HSD3B1 gene were studied for association with blood pressure and hypertension in a meta-analysis of 4 Dutch cohorts (n = 11,192). RESULTS: HSD3B1 expression was minimal or absent in adrenocortical tissues, including 6 aldosterone-producing adenomas. In contrast with the ubiquitously expressed HSD3B2 mRNA, HSD3B1 levels were not stimulated by adrenocorticotropin or angiotensin II. No variants in the HSD3B1 gene were associated with blood pressure or the occurrence of hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence to support confirmation that HSD3B1 is involved in aldosterone synthesis in the human adrenal cortex or that genetic variation in HSD3B1 affects blood pressure or hypertension, favoring the hypothesis that all adrenocortical steroidogenesis is primarily dependent on the type II 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Hypertens

Publication Date





113 - 120


HSD3B1, aldosterone, blood pressure, hypertension., Adrenal Cortex, Aged, Aldosterone, Blood Pressure, Cells, Cultured, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic, Genetic Association Studies, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Multienzyme Complexes, Netherlands, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Progesterone Reductase, RNA, Messenger, Risk Factors, Steroid Isomerases