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Effect of salt and water intake on epithelial sodium channel mRNA abundance in the kidney of salt-sensitive Sabra rats

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1. The level of mRNA expression of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) subunits was studied in a salt-dependent hypertensive rat strain (Sabra). These rats exhibit high vasopressin levels compared with their normotensive counterparts. We also investigated whether this expression is influenced by changes in the sodium intake/aldosterone axis or in the fluid intake/vasopressin axis.

2. A higher expression of β- and γ-subunit mRNA was found in salt-sensitive compared with salt-resistant rats on a normal salt diet. A high-sodium diet did not alter mRNA abundance in either substrain. In contrast, water supplementation in salt-sensitive rats fed the high-sodium diet induced a marked reduction in mRNA abundance of β- and γ-subunits.

3. The present study provides evidence that β- and γ-subunits of ENaC are differently expressed in the kidney of salt-sensitive and salt-resistant Sabra rats and that their abundance is regulated by vasopressin, not by sodium intake. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that increased vasopressin-dependent ENaC expression and activity may contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension in salt-sensitive Sabra rats.
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Keywords: collecting duct; hypertension; vasopressin

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: INSERM Unité 367, Paris, France

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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