Primary aldosteronism (PA) significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular complications, and early diagnosis and targeted treatment based on its pathophysiology is warranted. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revealed recurrent somatic mutations in aldosterone-driving genes in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). By applying CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) immunohistochemistry and NGS to adrenal glands from normal subjects and PA patients, we and others have shown that CYP11B2-positive cells make small clusters, termed aldosterone-producing cell clusters (APCC), beneath the adrenal capsule, and that APCC harbor somatic mutations in genes mutated in APA. We have shown that APCC are increased in CT-negative PA adrenals, while others showed potential progression from APCC to micro APA through mutations. These results suggest that APCC are a key factor for understanding the origin of PA, and further investigation on the relation between APCC and PA is highly needed.
- aldosterone-producing cell clusters
- next-generation sequencing
- primary aldosteronism