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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Nov;289(5):R1289-96. Epub 2005 Jun 23.

Endogenous central kappa-opioid systems augment renal sympathetic nerve activity to maximally retain urinary sodium during hypotonic saline volume expansion.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1901 Perdido St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


Intracerebroventricular injection of kappa-opioid agonists produces diuresis, antinatriuresis, and a concurrent increase in renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA). The present study examined whether endogenous central kappa-opioid systems contribute to the renal excretory responses produced by the stress of an acute hypotonic saline volume expansion (HSVE). Cardiovascular, renal excretory, and RSNA responses were measured during control, acute HSVE (5% body weight, 0.45 M saline over 30 min), and recovery (70 min) in conscious rats pretreated intracerebroventricularly with vehicle or the kappa-opioid receptor antagonist nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI). In vehicle-pretreated rats, HSVE produced a marked increase in urine flow rate but only a low-magnitude and delayed natriuresis. RSNA was not significantly suppressed during the HSVE or recovery periods. In nor-BNI-treated rats, HSVE produced a pattern of diuresis similar to that observed in vehicle-treated rats. However, during the HSVE and recovery periods, RSNA was significantly decreased, and urinary sodium excretion increased in nor-BNI-treated animals. In other studies performed in chronic bilateral renal denervated rats, HSVE produced similar diuretic and blunted natriuretic responses in animals pretreated intracerebroventricularly with vehicle or nor-BNI. Thus removal of the renal nerves prevented nor-BNI from enhancing urinary sodium excretion during HSVE. These findings indicate that in conscious rats, endogenous central kappa-opioid systems are activated during hypotonic saline volume expansion to maximize urinary sodium retention by a renal sympathoexcitatory pathway that requires intact renal nerves.

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