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Am J Physiol. 1996 Mar;270(3 Pt 2):F425-31.

Salt intake modulates the developmental expression of renal kallikrein and bradykinin B2 receptors.

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Section of Pediatric Nephrology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


The mechanisms involved in the postnatal induction of renal kallikrein gene transcription and enzymatic activity are unknown. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that salt (NaCl) intake regulates the ontogeny of renal kallikrein gene expression and enzymatic activity and urinary kallikrein excretion. Newborn rats were artificially fed via a gastric tube with a milk formula containing either normal (25 meq/l, same as in maternal milk) or high (145 meq/l) NaCl content from day 7 to 14 of postnatal life. High-salt feeding decreased renal kallikrein mRNA levels (P < 0.05) and kallikrein-like activity (P < 0.05) compared with rat pups on normal salt intake. However, urinary kallikrein excretion (Ukal) was not different on chronic high vs. normal salt intake. Furthermore, acute volume expansion (0.9% saline, 1% body wt iv) did not alter Ukal in either group of developing rats. In adult rats, 1% NaCl in the drinking water for 10 days decreased renal active kallikrein contents (P < 0.05) but did not alter kallikrein mRNA levels compared with pair-fed rats on normal salt diet. Acute volume expansion in adult rats decreased active Ukal in the high-salt group only (P < 0.05). High-salt feeding upregulated bradykinin B2 receptor mRNA in the developing rats (P < 0.05). We conclude that chronic salt loading suppresses the postnatal rise in renal kallikrein gene expression and enzymatic activity, indicating that sodium intake is an important factor in the maturation of renal kallikrein synthesis. The data also suggest that bradykinin B2 receptor gene expression in the developing kidney may be subject to reciprocal feedback regulation by endogenous kallikrein-kinin activity.

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