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In the retina, the mineralocorticoid receptor is expressed in retinal and choroidal vessels and in cells from neural and glial origins. Like in the brain, the major ligand of the mineralocorticoid receptor is cortisol, and the mineralocorticoid/glucocorticoid receptor balance regulates the activation of the MR pathway. Experimental mineralocorticoid receptor pathway activation using either pharmacological agents or transgenic manipulation favours retinal and choroidal pathology. In various models of retinal diseases, such as glaucomatous neuropathy, retinopathy of prematurity, ischaemic retinopathies, diabetic retinopathy and choroidal neovascularization, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism exerts beneficial effects, demonstrating its potential in the treatment of major blinding retinal diseases. But specific formulations are required to optimize the bioavailability of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists in various compartments of the eye, and molecular biomarkers of mineralocorticoid receptor pathway activation remain to be identified in humans to select patients amenable to clinical trials. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on Emerging Fields for Therapeutic Targeting of the Aldosterone-Mineralocorticoid Receptor Signaling Pathway. To view the other articles in this section visit © 2021 The British Pharmacological Society.


Francine Behar-Cohen, Min Zhao. Mineralocorticoid pathway in retinal health and diseases. British journal of pharmacology. 2022 Jul;179(13):3190-3204

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PMID: 34877649

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