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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011 Aug;301(2):F319-26. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00139.2011. Epub 2011 May 4.

Fetal uninephrectomy in male sheep alters the systemic and renal responses to angiotensin II infusion and AT1R blockade.

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Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.


Fetal uninephrectomy (uni-x) at 100 days of gestation results in compensatory nephrogenesis in the remaining kidney, resulting in a 30% reduction in total nephron number in male sheep. Recently, we showed that uni-x males at 6 mo of age have elevated arterial pressure, reduced renal blood flow (RBF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and low plasma renin levels (Singh R, Denton K, Bertram J, Jefferies A, Head G, Lombardo P, Schneider-Kolsky M, Moritz K. J Hypertens 27: 386-396, 2009; Singh R, Denton K, Jefferies A, Bertram J, Moritz K. Clin Sci (Lond) 118: 669-680, 2010). We hypothesized this was due to upregulation of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS). In this study, renal responses to ANG II infusion and ANG II type 1 receptor (AT1R) blockade were examined in the same 6-mo-old male sheep. Uni-x animals had reduced levels of renal tissue and plasma renin and ANG II. Renal gene expression of renin, and gene and protein levels of AT1R and AT2R, were significantly lower in uni-x animals. In response to graded ANG II infusion, sham animals had the expected decrease in conscious RBF and GFR. Interestingly, the response was biphasic in uni-x sheep, with GFR initially decreasing, but then increasing at higher ANG II doses (34 ± 7%; P(group × treatment) < 0.001), due to a paradoxical decrease in renal vascular resistance (P(group × treatment) < 0.001). In response to AT1R blockade, while GFR and RBF responded similarly between groups, there was a marked increase in sodium excretion in uni-x compared with sham sheep (209 ± 35 vs. 25 ± 12%; P < 0.001). In conclusion, in 6-mo-old male sheep born with a single kidney, these studies demonstrate that this is a low-renin form of hypertension, in which responses to ANG II are perturbed and the intrarenal RAS is downregulated.

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