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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Nov;283(5):H1846-55.

Decreased blood pressure and vascular smooth muscle tone in mice lacking basolateral Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.


The basolateral Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1) functions in the maintenance of cellular electrolyte and volume homeostasis. NKCC1-deficient (Nkcc1(-/-)) mice were used to examine its role in cardiac function and in the maintenance of blood pressure and vascular tone. Tail-cuff measurements demonstrated that awake Nkcc1(-/-) mice had significantly lower systolic blood pressure than wild-type (Nkcc1(+/+)) mice (114.5 +/- 2.2 and 131.8 +/- 2.5 mmHg, respectively). Serum aldosterone levels were normal, indicating that extracellular fluid-volume homeostasis was not impaired. Studies using pressure transducers in the femoral artery and left ventricle showed that anesthetized Nkcc1(-/-) mice have decreased mean arterial pressure and left ventricular pressure, whereas myocardial contraction parameters were not significantly different from those of Nkcc1(+/+) mice. When stimulated with phenylephrine, aortic smooth muscle from Nkcc1(+/+) and Nkcc1(-/-) mice exhibited no significant differences in maximum contractility and only moderate dose-response shifts. In phasic portal vein smooth muscle from Nkcc1(-/-) mice, however, a sharp reduction in mechanical force was noted. These results indicate that NKCC1 can be important for the maintenance of normal blood pressure and vascular tone.

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