Acta physiologica (Oxford, England)

Chronic activation of vasopressin V2 receptor signalling lowers renal medullary oxygen levels in rats.

PMID 23347696


In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the effects of chronic vasopressin administration on renal medullary oxygen levels. Adult Sprague Dawley or vasopressin-deficient Brattleboro rats were treated with the vasopressin V2 receptor agonist, desmopressin (5 ng/h; 3d), or its vehicle via osmotic minipumps. Immunostaining for pimonidazole and the transcription factor HIF-1α (hypoxia-inducible factor-1α) were used to identify hypoxic areas. Activation of HIF-target gene expression following desmopressin treatment was studied by microarray analysis. Pimonidazole staining was detected in the outer and inner medulla of desmopressin-treated rats, whereas staining in control animals was weak or absent. HIF-1α immunostaining demonstrated nuclear accumulation in the papilla of desmopressin-treated animals, whereas no staining was observed in the controls. Gene expression analysis revealed significant enrichment of HIF-target genes in the group of desmopressin-regulated gene products (P = 2.6*10(-21) ). Regulated products included insulin-like growth factor binding proteins 1 and 3, angiopoietin 2, fibronectin, cathepsin D, hexokinase 2 and cyclooxygenase 2. Our results demonstrate that an activation of the renal urine concentrating mechanism by desmopressin causes renal medullary hypoxia and an upregulation of hypoxia-inducible gene expression.