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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Jun 15;302(12):F1554-62. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00084.2011. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Evidence that renal arginine transport is impaired in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Department of Physiology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Low renal nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability contributes to the development and maintenance of chronic hypertension. We investigated whether impaired l-arginine transport contributes to low renal NO bioavailability in hypertension. Responses of renal medullary perfusion and NO concentration to renal arterial infusions of the l-arginine transport inhibitor l-lysine (10 μmol·kg(-1)·min(-1); 30 min) and subsequent superimposition of l-arginine (100 μmol·kg(-1)·min(-1); 30 min), the NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-l-arginine (2.4 mg/kg; iv bolus), and the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (0.24 μg·kg(-1)·min(-1)) were examined in Sprague-Dawley rats (SD) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Renal medullary perfusion and NO concentration were measured by laser-Doppler flowmetry and polarographically, respectively, 5.5 mm below the kidney surface. Renal medullary NO concentration was less in SHR (53 ± 3 nM) compared with SD rats (108 ± 12 nM; P = 0.004). l-Lysine tended to reduce medullary perfusion (-15 ± 7%; P = 0.07) and reduced medullary NO concentration (-9 ± 3%; P = 0.03) while subsequent superimposition of l-arginine reversed these effects of l-lysine in SD rats. In SHR, l-lysine and subsequent superimposition of l-arginine did not significantly alter medullary perfusion or NO concentration. Collectively, these data suggest that renal l-arginine transport is impaired in SHR. Renal l-[(3)H]arginine transport was less in SHR compared with SD rats (P = 0.01). Accordingly, we conclude that impaired arginine transport contributes to low renal NO bioavailability observed in the SHR kidney.

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