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Role of the renal nerves and angiotensin II in the renal function curve.

R. Golin, S. Genovesi, G. Castoldi, P. Wijnmaalen, G. Protasoni, A. Zanchetti, A. Stella


The relationship between renal perfusion pressure and urinary sodium is involved in arterial pressure regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of renal nerves and angiotensin II in the pressure-natriuresis relationship. Experiments were performed in anaesthetised cats in which one kidney was surgically denervated. Renal perfusion pressure (RPP), renal blood flow (RBF) glomerular filtration rate (GFR, creatinine clearance), urinary volume (V) and sodium excretion (Una + V) were separately measured from both kidneys. RPP was progressively reduced in two consecutive steps by a suprarenal aortic snare. Two groups of animals were studied: the first without any pharmacological treatment (Untreated), the second during treatment with an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (Captopril, 0.4 mg/Kg intravenously followed by an infusion of 0.4 mg/Kg/h). In the Untreated group RPP was reduced from 152.4 +/- 7.3 to 113.6 +/- 5.8 and 83.0 +/- 4.4 mmHg during the first and second step respectively. RBF and GFR were only slightly reduced during the second step of reduced RPP. In control conditions V and UNa + V were greater in the denervated compared to the innervated kidney. The graded decrease in RPP reduced both V and UNa + V in the innervated as well as in the denervated kidney. In the Captopril group V and UNa + V were larger than in the Untreated group in both the innervated and the denervated kidney. A decrease of RPP similar to that observed in the Untreated group, produced similar haemodynamic changes. Also in the Captopril group the graded decrease in RPP reduced both V and UNa + V in the innervated as well as in the denervated kidney. Matching UNa + V against RPP values significant correlations were found in the innervated and denervated kidneys of both groups. Both renal denervation and ACE inhibition were accompanied by an increased gain of the pressure-natriuresis curve, but only renal denervation shifted the crossing of the pressure axis to the left. In the ACE inhibited animals renal denervation only shifted the curve to the left. In conclusion our data suggest that i) at each level of RPP renal nerves and angiotensin II decrease renal sodium excretion, ii) renal nerves and angiotensin II increase the slope of the renal function curve, iii) renal nerves shift to the right the renal function curve.

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