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FASEB J. 2013 Aug;27(8):2927-38. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-224998. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Renal amino acid transport systems and essential hypertension.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal.


Several clinical and animal studies suggest that "blood pressure goes with the kidney," that is, a normotensive recipient of a kidney genetically programmed for hypertension will develop hypertension. Intrarenal dopamine plays an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension by regulating epithelial sodium transport. The candidate transport systems for L-DOPA, the source for dopamine, include the sodium-dependent systems B(0), B(0,+), and y(+)L, and the sodium-independent systems L (LAT1 and LAT2) and b(0,+). Renal LAT2 is overexpressed in the prehypertensive spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), which might contribute to enhanced L-DOPA uptake in the proximal tubule and increased dopamine production, as an attempt to overcome the defect in D1 receptor function. On the other hand, it has been recently reported that impaired arginine transport contributes to low renal nitric oxide bioavailability observed in the SHR renal medulla. Here we review the importance of renal amino acid transporters in the kidney and highlight pathophysiological changes in the expression and regulation of these transporters in essential hypertension. The study of the regulation of renal amino acid transporters may help to define the underlying mechanisms predisposing individuals to an increased risk for development of hypertension.


blood pressure; dopamine; kidney; nitric oxide

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