Article

Chronic ouabain treatment induces vasa recta endothelial dysfunction in the rat.

Department of Medicine, UMMS, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
American journal of physiology. Renal physiology (Impact Factor: 3.3). 11/2008; 296(1):F98-F106. DOI: 10.1152/ajprenal.90429.2008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Descending vasa recta (DVR) are 15-microm vessels that perfuse the renal medulla. Ouabain has been shown to augment DVR endothelial cytoplasmic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](CYT)) signaling. In this study, we examined the expression of the ouabain-sensitive Na-K-ATPase alpha2 subunit in the rat renal vasculature and tested effects of acute ouabain exposure and chronic ouabain treatment on DVR. Immunostaining with antibodies directed against the alpha2 subunit verified its expression in both DVR pericytes and endothelium. Acute application of ouabain (100 or 500 nM) augmented the DVR nitric oxide generation stimulated by acetylcholine (ACh; 10 microM). At a concentration of 1 mM, ouabain constricted microperfused DVR, whereas at 100 nM, it was without effect. Acute ouabain (100 nM) did not augment constriction by angiotensin II (0.5 or 10 nM), whereas l-nitroarginine methyl ester-induced contraction of DVR was slightly enhanced. Ouabain-hypertensive (OH) rats were generated by chronic ouabain treatment (30 microg.kg(-1).day(-1), 5 wk). The acute endothelial [Ca(2+)](CYT) elevation by ouabain (100 nM) was absent in DVR endothelia of OH rats. The [Ca(2+)](CYT) response to 10 nM ACh was also eliminated, whereas the response to 10 microM ACh was not. The endothelial [Ca(2+)](CYT) response to bradykinin (100 nM) was significantly attenuated. We conclude that endothelial responses may offset the ability of acute ouabain exposure to enhance DVR vasoconstriction. Chronic exposure to ouabain, in vivo, leads to hypertension and DVR endothelial dysfunction, manifested as reduced [Ca(2+)](CYT) responses to both ouabain- and endothelium-dependent vasodilators.

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