Blood pressure and renal function in a novel vasopressin-deficient, genetically hypertensive rat strain

N. Ashton, R. J. Balment

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    Hereditary hypothalamic diabetes insipidus was introduced into the New Zealand genetically hypertensive (NZGH) rat and its normotensive substrain (NZN) by cross-breeding males with female Brattleboro diabetes insipidus (DI) rats. Selective breeding of the resultant DI/hypertensive (DI/H) rats on the basis of maximum systolic blood pressure and vasopressin deficiency produced animals in the F6 generation with blood pressures at 10 weeks of age higher than in DI/normotensive rats (DI/N), but much lower than in age-matched NZGH animals. Age-matched NZN and DI/N rats had comparable blood pressures. Fluid turnover was far greater in DI/N and DI/H rats than in NZN and NZGH rats. Although comparable in DI/N and NZN rats, water balance (intake-urinary loss) was reduced in DI/H rats by comparison with NZGH rats. Sodium balance was lower in DI/N rats compared with NZN rats but did not differ between DI/H and NZGH animals. Both DI groups had lower potassium balances. Basal plasma vasopressin was elevated in NZGH rats compared with NZN rats, while vadopressin was undetectable in DI animals. Plasma aldosterone levels did not differ between groups, but corticosterone was lower in DI/N and DI/H rats by comparison with NZN and NZGH rats. Replacement of vasopressin to achieve physiological plasma hormone levels restored normal fluid management in DI animals and was associated with a modest increase in systolic blood pressure in DI/N animals, compared with sham-treated rats. A much larger increase in blood pressure was observed in AVP-treated DI/H animals, but blood pressure remained below that in NZGH rats. It is apparent that vasopressin may contribute to the hypertension of the NZGH rat and that it may be required from an early age. The mode of this contribution is unclear, but abnormal renal responses have been identified.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-34
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Physiology
    Publication statusPublished - 1989


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