Changes in plasma aldosterone and electrolytes levels, kidney epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and blood pressure in normotensive WKY and hypertensive SHR rats following gonadectomy and chronic testosterone treatment

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Abstract

We hypothesized that testosterone-induced increase in blood pressure involve changes in aldosterone levels and expression of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in the kidneys.

Methods

Ovariectomized female normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and Spontaneous hypertensive (SHR) rats were given six weeks treatment with testosterone via subcutaneous silastic implant. The rats were anesthetized and mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured via direct cannulation of the carotid artery. Animals were sacrificed and kidneys were removed and subjected for α, β and γ-ENaC protein and mRNA expression analyses by Western blotting and Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), respectively. Distributions of α, β and γ-ENaC proteins in kidneys were observed by immunofluorescence. Plasma testosterone, aldosterone, electrolytes, osmolality, urea and creatinine levels were determined by biochemical assays. Analysis were also performed in non-testosterone treated orchidectomized and sham-operated male WKY and SHR rats.

Results

Treatment of ovariectomized female WKY and SHR rats with testosterone causes increased in MAP but decreased in plasma aldosterone, sodium (Na+), osmolality and expression and distribution of α, β and γ-ENaC subunits in the kidneys. Orchidectomy decreased the MAP but increased plasma aldosterone, Na+, osmolality and α, β and γ-ENaC expression and distribution in the kidneys of male WKY and SHR rats.

Conclusions

Decreased in plasma aldosterone, Na+ and ENaC levels in kidneys under testosterone influence indicated that testosterone-induced increased in MAP were not due to increased plasma aldosterone and ENaC levels in kidneys, and thus the testosterone effect on MAP likely involve other mechanisms.

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