Toward a chronophysiology of circulating aldosterone

Pietro Cugini, Marco Centanni, Giulia Murano, Claudio Letizia, Piernatale Lucia, Domenico Scavo, Franz Halberg, Robert Sothern, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The physiology of aldosterone secretion has been prominently investigated by homeostatic studies on the levels of the steroid in plasma and/or urine. Aldosterone secretion is, however, arranged in a rhythmic fashion along the 24-hr cycle. The dynamics of aldosterone should thus be reanalyzed chronobiologically in order to gain further insight into the physiology of the hormone. Such a revisitation has been performed in the present study on four groups of clinically healthy volunteers categorized according to sex and age. Aldosterone has been assayed in the plasma of systemic venous blood six times a day (0600, 0800, 1200, 1800, 2000, 0000) in different conditions of physical activity and sodium intake. Time-qualified data have been analyzed by the single-cosinor method and then summarized by the population-mean cosinor procedure to quantify the circadian rhythms in their properties (mesor, amplitude, acrophase). Differences in rhythmometric parameters have been tested by a multivariate analysis for vectorial units. (Hotelling's T2 test). Cosinor analysis indicates that the dynamics of circulating aldosterone substantially changes in relation to posture. The habit of having a routine of diurnal activity leads the circadian rhythm of aldosterone to delay its acrophase from morning to afternoon. The postural shift of acrophase is essentially accompanied by an elevation in the 24-hr mean level. The restriction of salt intake is associated with an increase in mesor; the temporal localization of the circadian crest shows, however, a very high stability. Sex is not characterized by significant differences in the 24-hr patterns of aldosterone in the sense that young males and females show substantially identical time-qualified curves and circadian parameters. Increasing age until the seventh decade in life is responsible for changes mainly in 24-hr mean levels with a slight modification in amplitude. Such a chronophysiology for circulating aldosterone related to the motor-rest schedule, sodium intake, sex, and age, is of interest not only to heuristic but also to practical approaches in clinical medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-282
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemical medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1984


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward a chronophysiology of circulating aldosterone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this