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Circ Res. 2008 May 9;102(9):1101-8. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.107.169201. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Salt-sensitive hypertension induced by decoy of transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha in the renal medulla.

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Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, PO Box 980613, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1alpha, a transcription factor, is abundantly expressed in the renal medulla and regulates many oxygen-sensitive genes such as nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, and heme oxygenase-1. Given the important roles of these genes in the control of arterial pressure, the present study was to test the hypothesis that HIF-1alpha-mediated gene activation serves as an antihypertensive pathway by regulating renal medullary function and sodium excretion. HIF-1alpha decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) or scrambled ODNs were transfected into the renal medulla in uninephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats. Two weeks after ODN transfection, the HIF-1alpha binding activities were significantly inhibited by 45%, and high salt-induced increases of nitric oxide synthase-2 and heme oxygenase-1 transcriptions were also inhibited by 70% and 61% in the renal medulla from decoy rats. The natriuretic responses and increases of renal medullary blood flow responding to the elevations of renal perfusion pressure were significantly blunted by 50% and 37% in decoy rats. Intravenously acute sodium loading increased medullary blood flow and urinary sodium excretion, which was remarkably attenuated in decoy rats. In decoy rats, high salt intake caused a greater positive sodium balance. Consequently, arterial pressure was remarkably increased (from 118+/-1.9 to 154+/-6.3 mm Hg) in decoy rats but not in control rats when the rats were challenged with a high salt diet. There was no blood pressure change in decoy rats that were maintained in normal salt diet. In conclusion, HIF-1alpha-mediated gene activation importantly participates in the regulation of renal medullary function and long-term arterial blood pressure.

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