A 37-year-old woman with documented primary aldosteronism died of a cerebral hemorrhage. At postmortem examination she was found to have bilateral, adrenal hyperplasia and nodular basophilic hyperplasia of the anterior and intermediate lobe of the pituitary. Based on these findings and experimental evidence suggesting the existence of a pituitary factor that stimulates aldosterone secretion, we postulate that idiopathic aldosteronism is caused by an abnormality of the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland leading to overproduction of non-adrenocorticotropic hormone peptides derived from pro-opiomelanocortin that increase aldosterone production and cause hyperplasia of the adrenal glands.
Franco-Saenz R, Mulrow PJ, Kim K. Idiopathic AldosteronismA Possible Disease of the Intermediate Lobe of the Pituitary. JAMA. 1984;251(19):2555–2558. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340430053029