BACKGROUND: Both endogenous ouabain (EO) and aldosterone are steroid hormones which might play a role in the pathogenesis of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and cardiac remodeling. Cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (CYP11A1) and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD3B1) are two key enzymes in the pathway of steroid biosynthesis. METHODS: We investigated in 532 individuals (mean age, 50.3 years; 51.5% women) randomly recruited from a white European population whether LV structure and function were related to genetic variations in CYP11A1 and HSD3B1. We measured LV structure by conventional echocardiography and LV diastolic function by Doppler imaging of the transmitral blood flow and the mitral annular movement. We genotyped tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2279357, rs11638442 and rs2073475 in CYP11A1, and rs2236780, rs3765945, and rs6203 in HSD3B1. RESULTS: While adjusting for covariables and accounting for family clusters, LV mass index decreased (P /= 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Pending confirmation in other studies, LV mass and LV diastolic function seem to be related to genetic variation in the steroid biosynthesis.
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