Norepinephrine-evoked salt-sensitive hypertension requires impaired renal sodium chloride cotransporter activity in Sprague-Dawley rats.Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2016; 310(2):R115-24AJ
Recent studies have implicated a role of norepinephrine (NE) in the activation of the sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) to drive the development of salt-sensitive hypertension. However, the interaction between NE and increased salt intake on blood pressure remains to be fully elucidated. This study examined the impact of a continuous NE infusion on sodium homeostasis and blood pressure in conscious Sprague-Dawley rats challenged with a normal (NS; 0.6% NaCl) or high-salt (HS; 8% NaCl) diet for 14 days. Naïve and saline-infused Sprague-Dawley rats remained normotensive when placed on HS and exhibited dietary sodium-evoked suppression of peak natriuresis to hydrochlorothiazide. NE infusion resulted in the development of hypertension, which was exacerbated by HS, demonstrating the development of the salt sensitivity of blood pressure [MAP (mmHg) NE+NS: 151 ± 3 vs. NE+HS: 172 ± 4; P < 0.05]. In these salt-sensitive animals, increased NE prevented dietary sodium-evoked suppression of peak natriuresis to hydrochlorothiazide, suggesting impaired NCC activity contributes to the development of salt sensitivity [peak natriuresis to hydrochlorothiazide (μeq/min) Naïve+NS: 9.4 ± 0.2 vs. Naïve+HS: 7 ± 0.1; P < 0.05; NE+NS: 11.1 ± 1.1; NE+HS: 10.8 ± 0.4). NE infusion did not alter NCC expression in animals maintained on NS; however, dietary sodium-evoked suppression of NCC expression was prevented in animals challenged with NE. Chronic NCC antagonism abolished the salt-sensitive component of NE-mediated hypertension, while chronic ANG II type 1 receptor antagonism significantly attenuated NE-evoked hypertension without restoring NCC function. These data demonstrate that increased levels of NE prevent dietary sodium-evoked suppression of the NCC, via an ANG II-independent mechanism, to stimulate the development of salt-sensitive hypertension.