It has been known for some time that dietary salt intake correlates with the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. However, the molecular link between dietary salt and cardiovascular disease is poorly understood. On this background, it has been observed that there are a class of hormones called cardiotonic steroids whose concentrations increase in response to increases in dietary salt. We have shown that some of these hormones may be natriuretic, but we have also shown that they may also be responsible for progressive renal and cardiac injury. Based on data summarized in this review, we propose cardiotonic steroids may serve as the molecular link between dietary salt and cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Cardiotonic Steroids, digitalis like factors, Na/K-ATPase, Sodium pump, NaCl-sensitivity, cytosolic calcium, epithelial growth factor, adrenalectomy, natriuretic hormone, spironolactone treatment, MBG-albumin conjugate