Chronic renal neuroadrenergic hypertension is associated with increased renal norepinephrine sensitivity and volume contraction

Craig F. Plato, Jeffrey L. Osborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Individuals with essential hypertension have been characterized by increased renal sympathetic vascular tone with decreased plasma volume and normal cardiac output compared with normotensive individuals. We used a servo-controlled intrarenal infusion system to evaluate the hemodynamic, renal excretory, and plasma hormonal responses to 28-day, low-level elevations in the intrarenal adrenergic neurotransmitter norepinephrine. In uninephrectomized dogs (n=6) servo-controlled norepinephrine infusion increased mean arterial pressure from 95.6±3.1 to 115.7±4.9 mm Hg on day 1 without concomitant reductions in renal blood flow. Arterial hypertension was sustained and renal vascular resistance increased during the 28 days of servo-controlled norepinephrine infusion despite significant decreases in the daily dose of intrarenal norepinephrine (1.49±0.23 to 0.47±0.25 mg/d) necessary to maintain renal blood flow constant. Arterial pressure returned to control values with the cessation of servo-controlled norepinephrine, whereas renal blood flow and renal vascular resistance remained slightly decreased and increased, respectively. Cumulative sodium balance exhibited a net 177±37 mmol sodium loss over the 28 days of norepinephrine infusion, indicating that the hypertension did not result from sodium retention or expansion of extracellular fluid volume. Intrarenal norepinephrine did not change plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine, or vasopressin concentrations. Atrial natriuretic factor, however, increased at 7 and 14 days of servo- controlled norepinephrine, and plasma renin activity increased on day 14 of norepinephrine infusion. We conclude that low-level elevation of intrarenal adrenergic neurotransmitter produces sustained arterial hypertension that is independent of expansion in extracellular fluid volume, increases in circulating catecholamines or plasma renin activity, or reductions in renal blood flow. This hypertension may be associated with increased renal vascular sensitivity to norepinephrine and or other renal vasoactive factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1040
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • hypertension, essential
  • kidney
  • norepinephrine
  • sodium
  • sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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