Testosterone Effects on Renal Norepinephrine Content and Release in Rats With Different Y Chromosomes

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The Y chromosome in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and stroke-prone rats has been shown to contain a locus that contributes to the hypertensive effect; both the sympathetic nervous system and testosterone may be involved. The objective of this study was to look at the effects of testosterone on renal norepinephrine (NE) release and content in the isolated perfused kidney in different Y chromosome backgrounds. The study involved male SHR, Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY), and 2 consomic strains with different Y chromosomes (n = 5 to 8 per group). Adult animals were castrated, and implants containing testosterone propionate were placed at the base of the neck. Blood testosterone levels were measured by radioimmunoassay 2 weeks after castration. The left kidney was isolated and perfused with oxygenated Krebs solution at a constant flow and temperature with KCl and electrical stimulation of the renal nerves. Perfusate was collected and analyzed for NE by high-performance liquid chromatography. Lactate dehydrogenase analyses were performed as a marker for potential tissue damage. Renal perfusate and renal tissue NE levels were significantly elevated by testosterone. The average NE increase with a single testosterone implant was 13.2 ng/mL, and for a double testosterone implant it was 29.8 ng/mL. The Y chromosome from the SHR produced a significant increase in renal NE release compared with the WKY Y chromosome. Significance was shown between all groups: 1 versus 2 implants, P=0.0067; 1 versus sham implants, P=0.015; 2 versus sham implants, P<0.001. In conclusion, testosterone caused an enhanced renal NE release that was strain-specific, with the Y chromosome raising renal NE content and release. (Hypertension. 1998;32:880-885.)

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