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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2013 Mar 1;304(5):F505-14. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00587.2012. Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Activation of the renin-angiotensin system by a low-salt diet does not augment intratubular angiotensinogen and angiotensin II in rats.

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Dept. of Physiology, SL39, Tulane Univ. Health Sciences Center, 1430 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


In angiotensin II (ANG II) infusion hypertension, there is an augmentation of intratubular angiotensinogen (AGT) and ANG II leading to increased urinary AGT and ANG II excretion rates associated with tissue injury. However, the changes in urinary AGT and ANG II excretion rates and markers of renal injury during physiologically induced stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) by a low-salt diet remain unclear. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received a low-salt diet (0.03% NaCl; n = 6) and normal-salt diet (0.3% NaCl, n = 6) for 13 days. Low-salt diet rats had markedly higher plasma renin activity and plasma ANG II levels. Kidney cortex renin mRNA, kidney AGT mRNA, and AGT immunoreactivity were not different; however, medullary renin mRNA, kidney renin content, and kidney ANG II levels were significantly elevated by the low-salt diet. Kidney renin immunoreactivity was also markedly increased in juxtaglomerular apparati and in cortical and medullary collecting ducts. Urinary AGT excretion rates and urinary ANG II excretion rates were not augmented by the low-salt diet. The low-salt diet caused mild renal fibrosis in glomeruli and the tubulointerstitium, but no other signs of kidney injury were evident. These results indicate that, in contrast to the response in ANG II infusion hypertension, the elevated plasma and intrarenal ANG II levels caused by physiological stimulation of RAS are not reflected by increased urinary AGT or ANG II excretion rates or the development of renal injury.

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