Role of plasma renin activity and the renal nerves in the natriuresis of L-NMMA infusion in rats

Ali A. Khraibi, Carla R. Ramsey, Denise M. Heublein, Theresa J. Berndt, Franklyn G. Knox

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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) infusion on plasma renin activity (PRA) in the presence or absence of the renal nerves in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and Okamoto spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). All rats were unilaterally nephrectomized two weeks before the acute experiment. On the day of the experiment, acute renal denervation (Dnx) of the remaining kidney was performed in one group of WKY rats (Dnx-WKY; n=10) and one group of SHRs (Dnx-SHR; n=7). The renal nerves were left intact in a group of WKY rats (Inn-WKY; n=8) and SHRs (Inn-SHR; n=9). After a control clearance period, L-NMMA was administered i.v. (15 mg/kg bolus followed by 500 μg/kg/min infusion) and another clearance period of 20 min was taken. In all experimental groups L-NMMA infusion resulted in a significant natriuresis. L-NMMA infusion increased fractional excretion of sodium (FENa) to a greater extent in the Inn-SHR than in the Inn-WKY (ΔFENa = 5.23±0.87% vs ΔFENa = 2.87±0.73% respectively; P=0.05), PRA did not change in the SHR with the infusion of L-NMMA. However, in the Inn-WKY group, the natriuresis of L-NMMA infusion was associated with a tendency for lower PRA levels as compared to a group of time control Inn-WKY rats. In Dnx-WKY, the natriuresis of L-NMMA infusion (ΔFENa = 4.60±0.52%) was associated with a significantly lower level of PRA (4.26±1.18 ng AI/ml/hr) as compared to a group of time control Dnx-WKY rats (9.83±1.32 ng AI/ml/hr; P<0.05). In the Dnx-SHR, the natriuretic response to L-NMMA infusion was significantly attenuated by renal denervation (ΔFENa = 2.36±0.34%) and PRA was unchanged. In conclusion, the natriuretic effect of systemic inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis was associated with decreased PRA in the Dnx-WKY suggesting that a potential interaction exists between NO and the renal nerves in the modulation of PRA in the normotensive WKY rat. Whereas, the natriuretic effect of L-NMMA infusion in the SHR in the presence and absence of the renal nerves, were independent of 2001 Elsevier Science. All rights reserved. Changes in PRA.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1123-1131
Number of pages9
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2001


  • Hypertension
  • Nitric oxide
  • Plasma renin activity
  • Renal function
  • Renal nerves


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