Salt-induced hemodynamic regulation mediated by nitric oxide


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Abstract

Excess daily salt intake impairs vasodilatation and enhances vasoconstriction, resulting in reduction of regional blood flow and elevation of blood pressure in healthy individuals and hypertensive patients with either salt sensitivity or not tested for salt sensitivity or not evaluated for salt sensitivity. The mechanism may involve decreased production of nitric oxide via endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), impaired bioavailability of nitric oxide, and elevated plasma levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA). Experimental animals, irrespective of salt sensitivity, although less extensive in those with salt-resistance, fed a high-salt diet have deteriorated endothelial functions; the mechanisms involved include an impairment of eNOS activation, a decrease in eNOS expression, and an increase in oxidative stress and ADMA. The imbalance of interactions between nitric oxide and angiotensin II is also involved in salt sensitivity. Deficiency of nitric oxide formed via neuronal NOS and inducible NOS may contribute to salt-induced hypertension. Reduced daily salt intake, therefore, would be the most rational prophylactic measure against the development of hypertension.

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