Increased nitric oxide synthase-3 expression in kidneys of deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt hypertensive rats

Academic Article


  • In addition to its hemodynamic effects, nitric oxide (NO) may play a role in the renal tubular handling of sodium. Experiments were conducted to determine possible changes in renal nitric oxide synthase-3 (NOS3) expression in rats treated with deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) and high salt. All rats were uninephrectomized, and either a placebo or DOCA pellet was implanted subcutaneously. Placebo-treated rats were then given tap water to drink ad libitum, and DOCA-treated rats received a 0.9% NaCl solution to drink. Once a week, rats were placed in metabolic cages so that a 24-h urine sample could be collected. After 3 wk, the animals were sacrificed and the kidneys removed and prepared for subsequent immunohistochemical or Western blot analysis. Urinary excretion of nitrate and nitrite (NOx) was measured to provide an indication of the intrarenal production of NO. DOCA-salt hypertensive rats exhibited increased urinary NOx excretion (2.43 ± 0.48 μmol NOx/mg creatinine) compared with the placebo control animals (1.17 ± 0.06 μmol NOx/mg creatinine). Western blot analysis revealed that NOS3 protein levels in both the cortex and medulla were greater in DOCA-salt rats compared with placebo-treated animals. Immunohistochemical analysis of kidneys revealed that NOS3 expression in placebo rats was localized in vascular endothelial cells with slight, but detectable, immunoreactivity in medullary collecting ducts. In DOCA-salt rats, a very large increase in the intensity of immunostaining was detected in tubular epithelia of the proximal tubule, thick ascending limb of Henle's loop, and cortical and medullary collecting duct; immunoreactivity in endothelial cells appeared unchanged. These data suggest that increased tubular expression of NOS3 is responsible, at least in part, for the increased renal production of NO in DOCA-salt hypertension, and are consistent with a role for NO in the renal tubular response to salt loading.
  • Author List

  • Allcock GH; Hukkanen M; Polak JM; Pollock JS; Pollock DM
  • Start Page

  • 2283
  • End Page

  • 2289
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 11