Present knowledge of the mechanisms regulating release of renin is reviewed with particular emphasis on neural factors. Evidence is given for a direct effect of renal innervation on beta adrenergic receptors in juxtaglomerular cells, and for the involvement of reflex release of renin in conditions such as tilting and acute salt depletion. Participation of neural and nonneural mechanisms of control is also shown to occur in other conditions, such as aortic constriction and hemorrhage. The view is held that neural sympathetic factors might explain some of the renin disturbances found in essential hypertension. First, in patients with high renin hypertension part of the hypertension is renin-dependent, and these pressor levels of renin seem to be neurally induced since they can commonly be suppressed by beta adrenoreceptor blocking agents. Second, the hypothesis is presented that patients with low renin hypertension, at least those who have no volume disturbance, have a blunted sympathetic control of renin release. Therefore, a sufficiently precise test of sympathetic activity, and possibly of body fluid volumes, should be associated with renin profiles for a better understanding of the pathophysiology of arterial hypertension and as a better guide to therapeutic management. Indeed, most of the available antihypertensive drugs act on sympathetic activity, body fluid volume or renin, and this multifaceted profile would provide more rational guidelines for treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine