Cellular action of vasopressin in medullary tubules of mice with hereditary nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

B. A. Jackson, R. M. Edwards, H. Valtin, T. P. Dousa

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38 Scopus citations


The previous studies (1974. J. Clin. Invest. 54: 753-762) suggested that impaired metabolism of cyclic AMP (cAMP) may be involved in the renal unresponsiveness to vasopressin (VP) in mice with hereditary nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI). To localize such a defect to specific segments of the nephron, the authors studied the activities of VP-sensitive adenylate cyclase, cAMP phosphodiesterase (cAMP-PDIE), as well as accumulation of cAMP in medullary collecting tubules (MCT) and in medullary thick ascending limbs of Henle's loop (MAL) microdissected from control mice with normal concentrating ability and from mice with hereditary NDI. Adenylate cyclase activity stimulated by VP or by NaF was only slightly lower (-24%) in MCT from NDI mice, compared with controls. In MAL of NDI mice, basal, VP-sensitive, and NaF-sensitive adenylate cyclase was markedly (> -60%) lower compared with MAL of controls. The specific activity of cAMP-PDIE was markedly higher in MCT of NDI mice compared with controls, but was not different between MAL of control and NDI mice. Under present in vitro conditions, incubation of intact MCT from control mice with VP caused a striking increase in cAMP levels (> 10), but VP failed to elicit a change in cAMP levels in MCT from NDI mice. When the cAMP-PDIE inhibitor 1-methyl-3-isobutyl xanthine (MIX) was added to the above incubation, VP caused a significant increase in cAMP levels in MCT from both NDI mice and control mice. Under all tested conditions, cAMP levels in MCT of NDI mice were lower than corresponding values in control MCT. Under the present experimental setting, VP and other stimulating factors (MIX, cholera toxin) did not change cAMP levels in MAL from either control mice or from NDI mice. The results of the present in vitro experiments suggest that the functional unresponsiveness of NDI mice to VP is perhaps mainly the result of the inability of collecting tubules to increase intracellular cAMP levels in response to VP. In turn, this inability to increase cAMP in response to VP is at least partly the result of abnormally high activity of cAMP-PDIE, a somewhat lower activity of VP-sensitive adenylate cyclase in MCT of NDI mice, and perhaps to a deficiency of some other as yet unidentified factors. The possible contribution of low VP-sensitive adenylate cyclase activity in MAL of NDI mice to the renal resistance to VP remains to be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-122
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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