The natriuretic peptide (NP) system plays a central role in the renal adaptations to acute volume expansion. However, the modulation of the NP system in chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we evaluated cardiac haemodynamics, plasma type-B natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels and the expression of natriuretic peptide receptor A (NPR-A) and NPR-C in the renal cortex (RC) and medulla (RM) of Sham and ¾ nephrectomized (¾nx) rats, up to 26 weeks after surgery.Methods
Male Wistar–Han rats (190–220 g; n=49) were randomly assigned to ¾nx or Sham surgery. Two, 10 and 26 weeks after surgery, non-invasive blood pressure (BP) and left ventricular (LV) haemodynamics were performed, and urine and blood were collected for metabolic studies and plasma BNP determination. In addition, tissue samples from RC and RM were obtained for NPR-A and NPR-C quantification (RT-PCR and western blotting) as well as NPR-A immunodetection.Results
In ¾nx rats, the progressive interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy were accompanied by a time-dependent increase of BP and impaired natriuretic response to volume expansion (VE). This was accompanied in ¾nx rats by an early and time-dependent elevation of BNP circulating levels that was not associated with cardiac dysfunction or increased myocardial BNP gene expression. In ¾nx rats, NPR-A expression in the remnant RM was consistently reduced at 2, 10 and 26 weeks, and this was accompanied by an increase in NPR-C expression in the remnant RC from ¾nx rats.Conclusions
BP elevation and compromised natriuretic response to VE in ¾nx rats is associated with increased circulating BNP levels in the absence of cardiac dysfunction. This is accompanied in ¾nx rats by both impaired NPR-A expression in the RM and upregulation of NPR-C in the RC suggesting a novel mechanism for NP resistance in CRI.