Journal of the American Society of Hypertension : JASH

Age-dependent regulation of renal vasopressin V(1A) and V₂ receptors in rats with genetic hypertension: implications for the treatment of hypertension.

PMID 23246465


The role of arginine vasopressin (AVP) as a hypertensive hormone remains controversial. We have previously reported that intervention with a V(1A) receptor antagonist in 6-week-old prehypertensive spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) for 4 weeks attenuated the subsequent development of hypertension in adult SHR. This study assessed the age-dependent regulation of plasma AVP levels and kidney V(1A) and V₂ receptor expression during the development of hypertension in SHR and in normotensive Sprague Dawley rats. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), plasma AVP, and plasma renin activity (PRA) and kidney V(1A) and V₂ receptor expression were assessed. SHR were studied at three ages: prehypertensive (6 weeks), developed hypertension (10 weeks), and established hypertension (16 weeks). SBP increased with age in SHR (P < .01) and both plasma AVP (P < .01) and PRA (P < .05) were increased in 10-week-old SHR. Renal medulla V(1A) receptor gene expression decreased in 10-week and 16-week-old SHR (P < .01), with a reduction in V(1A) receptor protein in the inner medulla of 16-week-old SHR (P < .05) compared with young SHR. There was no change in V₂ receptor expression during the development of hypertension. In normotensive rats, plasma AVP, PRA, and kidney V(1A) and V₂ receptor expression were unchanged over time. These data suggest that in SHR, activation of plasma AVP and the renal V(1A) receptor occurs during developing hypertension, with downregulation when hypertension is established. The use of V(1A) receptor antagonists in prehypertension may provide a unique opportunity for the prevention of hypertension in high-risk individuals.

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[Arg8]-Vasopressin solution, Grade VI (synthetic), ~100 I.U./mL in 0.9% NaCl