The class of steroid hormones whose major function is influencing salt and water balances. These hormones were involved in retention of a mineral i.e., sodium, hence the name mineralocorticoids. The effect of mineralocorticoids is mediated by nuclear receptors as well as fast non-genomic mechanisms and signaling cascades. Aldosterone is the primary endogenous mineralocorticoids that are secreted by the adrenal glands. The other endogenous hormones with mineralocorticoid function are progesterone and deoxycorticosterone. Aldosterone increases the renal tubular reabsorption of sodium and secretion of potassium.
The deficiency of mineralocorticoids causes severe renal sodium chloride wasting and hyperkalemia. If total adrenocortical secretion is lost it leads to death in 2 days to 3 weeks. The individual can be saved if receives injections of mineralocorticoids or extensive salt therapy.
Last date updated on July, 2014