Roles and mechanisms of the kidney sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC) in salt-sensitive hypertension
Desai, Akshay Nilesh
MetadataShow full item record
Hypertension is both a domestic and international health issue – diagnosed in 1 in 3 U.S. adults and classified by the World Health Organization as the number one risk factor for mortality worldwide. It has been established that salt plays a role in the development of hypertension, and that a salt-sensitive phenotype indicates heightened sensitivity to salt consumption. Here, we studied the roles of the afferent renal nerves, which travel from the kidney to the central nervous system, and the sodium-chloride cotransporter in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis and blood pressure regulation. Our laboratory utilized a novel technique of afferent renal nerve ablation on Sprague-Dawley rats to examine the effects of afferent renal nerve mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors in response to acute sympathoinhibitory challenges. Additionally, salt-sensitive and salt-resistant rats were randomly subjected to chronic normal salt (0.6% NaCl) or high salt (8% NaCl) diets, and examined for levels of norepinephrine and substance-P release. A different group of salt-resistant and salt-sensitive rats were subcutaneously infused with terazosin, a selective -1 adrenoreceptor antagonist, or propranolol, a selective -adrenoreceptor antagonist, and then randomly subjected to normal salt (0.6% NaCl) or high salt (4% NaCl) diets for 21 days. We subsequently examined these rats, and analyzed the effects of high salt intake on blood pressure, sodium-chloride cotransporter activity, and expression of the sodium-chloride cotransporter and its relevant kinases. In response to an acute mechanoreceptor-specific stimulus, Sprague-Dawley rats that underwent afferent renal nerve ablation were unable to modulate blood pressure or natriuresis after regaining consciousness. Chronic high salt (8% NaCl) consumption in salt-sensitive rats resulted in increased levels of plasma norepinephrine, renal norepinephrine, and norepinephrine-evoked Substance-P release. In addition, salt-sensitive rats subjected to a 21-day high salt (4% NaCl) diet exhibited increased blood pressure, elevated sodium-chloride cotransporter activity, and upregulated levels of the sodium-chloride cotransporter and the kinases that regulate it. However, these observed increases in blood pressure, protein activity, and protein expression were abolished in salt-sensitive rats experiencing -1 adrenoreceptor antagonism due to terazosin administration. In conclusion, our findings indicate that mechanoreceptor-driven afferent renal nerve activation is needed to maintain fluid and electrolyte homeostasis and regulate blood pressure in response to acute sympathoinhibitory challenges and chronic high salt intake. In addition, our data demonstrates that the sodium-chloride cotransporter is aberrantly upregulated in salt-sensitive rats through a norepinephrine-1-adrenoreceptor gated pathway, and this this upregulation results in excessive salt reabsorption. Thus, our experiments have generated new data that reveals selective 1-adrenoreceptor antagonism and renal denervation as potential treatment options for hypertensive individuals.