Subpressor Angiotensin Infusion, Renal Sodium Handling, and Salt-Induced Hypertension in the Dog

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Abstract

SUMMARY

We studied the combined effect of subpressor amounts of angiotensin and long-term sodium chloride infusion on arterial pressure in 16 dogs for periods of 2-8 weeks. In dogs receiving 3.5 liters of isotonic NaCl daily, but no angiotensin, the arterial pressure increased an average of only 3 mm Hg. When angiotensin was infused continuously at a rate of 5 ng/kg per min (a rate too small to cause an observable immediate increase in pressure), subsequent infusion of 3.5 liters of saline daily then increased the pressure by 39 mm Hg. The urinary output of sodium increased to the same extent in both instances, that is, there was no extra sodium loss because of the elevated pressure. This suggests that the angiotensin significantly blocked the normal ‘pressure natriuresis’ usually seen with such large increases in pressure. However, the plasma aldosterone levels during angiotensin infusion were not found to be different from those in the absence of angiotensin. Therefore, we have suggested that the tendency of the kidneys to retain sodium under the influence of angiotensin was probably caused mainly by a direct effect of angiotensin on the kidney itself. Such a direct renal sodium-retaining effect also could be a contributing factor in the marked hypertension that results from salt administration in the presence of small amounts of angiotensin.

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