Sodium Intake and Plasma Angiotensin Level as Modulators of Adrenal and Uterine Angiotensin II Receptors in the Rat

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Angiotensin II receptors from rat adrenal cortex and myometrium were studied with the use of tritiated angiotensin under conditions where the sensitivity of the target organs for angiotensin II is modified. Sodium status was found to modulate the number of angiotensin receptors both in adrenal gland and uterus. In both target tissues low Na+ diet increases the number of receptors, while a high Na+ diet results in an increase in uterine receptors without modifying adrenal cortical receptors. However, a more markedly positive sodium balance, such as that observed in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) hypertension and in one-kidney Goldblatt hypertension, resulted in a reduction of the adrenocortical angiotensin II binding capacity. The endogenous angiotensin II level may also regulate the number of receptor sites as demonstrated by an increased number of receptors after suppression of circulating angiotensin II. It is proposed that the number of angiotensin II receptors is determined by the combined influences of sodium status and angiotensin II concentration. Some changes in the sensitivity of the target organ can be secondary to variations in the number of angiotensin receptors. However, others cannot be so explained and stem, therefore, from events occurring beyond the hormone-receptor interaction.

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