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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Oct;295(1):83-90.

Long-term aquaretic efficacy of a selective nonpeptide V(2)-vasopressin receptor antagonist, SR121463, in cirrhotic rats.

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  • 1Hormonal Laboratory, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Hospital Clínic Universitari, University of Barcelona and Instituto Reina Sofia de Investigaciones Nefrológicas, Barcelona, Spain.


Water retention in experimental cirrhosis can be reversed by blocking V(2)-vasopressin (AVP) receptors with the nonpeptide antagonist OPC-31260 or by using the kappa-opioid receptor agonist niravoline, a compound inhibiting central AVP release. However, reluctance to use these drugs in human beings has emerged because the former loses aquaretic efficacy in rats after 2 days of treatment and the latter may have adverse effects in humans. Recently, a new potent and selective nonpeptide V(2)-AVP receptor antagonist, SR121463, has been developed that could be useful for the treatment of dilutional hyponatremia in human cirrhosis. The current study assessed the aquaretic efficacy of 10-day chronic oral administration of SR121463 (0.5 mg/kg/day) in cirrhotic rats with ascites and impaired water excretion after a water load (minimum urinary osmolality >160 mOsm/kg and percentage of water load excreted <60%). Urine volume (UV), osmolality (U(Osm)V), and sodium excretion (U(Na)V) were measured daily. At the end of the 10-day treatment, mean arterial pressure also was measured. In basal conditions cirrhotic rats showed ascites, sodium retention, and impaired water excretion. UV, U(Osm)V, and U(Na)V did not change throughout the study in cirrhotic rats receiving the vehicle. In contrast, SR121463 increased UV and reduced U(Osm)V during the 10-day treatment. This resulted in a greater renal ability to excrete a water load and normalization in serum sodium and osmolality. During the first 6 days of treatment, SR121463 also increased U(Na)V without affecting mean arterial pressure. These data suggest that SR121463 could be of therapeutical value for chronic management of human cirrhosis.

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