Effect of ouabain on the pathogenesis of hypertension in rats

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Ouabain and digoxin are important cardiac glycoside and related to many cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes of sodium pump α-subunit expression in rats and compare the effects of ouabain (OUA) and digoxin (DIG) on the development of hypertension.


In situ hybridization was performed. Specific sequence oligonucleotide probe tailing with a Dig-dUTP hybrid to target nucleic acids of the sodium pump α-subunit. According to counting positive particles sodium pump subunit expression was analyzed with statistical methods.


On day 16 of drug administration, the blood pressure of rats increased significantly in the OUA group. In the DIG group, the blood pressure revealed no significant difference when compared to the control group. In addition, the effects of OUA and DIG on sodium pump α-subunit RNA expression in tissues differed.


OUA and DIG can not only change the configuration of the sodium pump to depress their activity, but also influence their gene expression which is important in the mechanism of hypertension. This may be a key point in the pathogenesis of hypertension in the manner in which OUA differs from DIG and changes the sodium pump gene expression in the arteries and kidneys of rats.

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