Contribution of the renin-angiotensin system and of the sympathetic nervous system to blood pressure homeostasis during chronic restriction of sodium intake

Massimo Volpe, Giuseppe Lembo, Morganti Alberto, Condorelli Mario, Bruno Trimarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In a previous paper, we showed that during a long-term, moderate restriction in sodium intake, sympathetic nervous system activity was only transiently stimulated, whereas a sustained rise of plasma renin activity occurred. However, the contribution from stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system in the maintenance of blood pressure homeostasis during a low-salt diet is still unclear.To investigate this issue, in eight normal subjects blood pressure, heart rate, plasma catecholamines, renin activity; and aldosterone were measured during normal sodium intake (150 mEq/d), after converting-enzyme inhibition (enalapril 20 mg/d po), and during one month of sodium intake restriction (50 mEq/d) associated with chronic inhibition of converting-enzyme (CEI). During a low-salt diet with CEI, plasma renin activity rose significantly as a result of CEI. In addition, even in the presence of a marked and sustained increase in plasma norepinephrine and in upright heart rate, a decrease in blood pressure was observed in all the measurements performed during the course of the study as compared to the control values. Our findings support the hypothesis that renin-angiotensin system activation plays an important role in the maintenance of blood pressure homeostasis during a low-salt diet. In fact, in the presence of an effective blockade of angiotensin II formation, blood pressure is decreased, despite the concurrent, sustained stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-358
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1988

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Converting-enzyme inhibitor
  • Hypertension
  • Renin
  • Sodium
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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