Previous studies have demonstrated that Separan AP-30, a drag-reducing polymer, significantly decreased the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet. Furthermore, Separan AP-273, a polymer similar to but longer than Separan AP-30, markedly increased cardiac output in open-chest rats. Preliminary studies in our laboratory have described diuresis and natriuresis following the intravenous infusion of Separan AP-273. These studies did not determine whether this natriuresis was common to drag-reducing polymers or unique to Separan. In the present study the renal effects of two chemically dissimilar drag-reducing polymers of molecular lengths approaching approximately 100 microns were compared. Sprague-Dawley rats (250-300 g) were anesthetized (Nembutal) and a tracheostomy was performed. A baseline level of sodium and water excretion was established by the infusion of saline (0.097 ml/min, IV). Separan (0.004%), an anionic polyacrylamide; Polyox (0.4%), a poly(ethylene oxide); or mannitol (20%), an osmotic diuretic, was infused into the jugular vein at 0.0034 ml/min. Separan and Polyox both increased the excretion of sodium and water (p less than 0.05). At the doses tested, potassium excretion was unaltered in both groups. Separan, but not Polyox, produced a modest increase in blood pressure. Creatinine clearance was unaltered. At this infusion rate, only hypertonic concentrations of mannitol (20%) induced a similar effect. These results indicate that drag-reducing polymers may represent a novel class of potassium-sparing diuretic and natriuretic compounds. The ability of this class of polymers to decrease the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, increase blood flow, and produce a potassium-sparing natriuresis may be of practical clinical significance.
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