Effects of a reversible 'nephrectomy' on renal sympathetic activity and blood pressure in the rat: Evidence for an acute angiotensin-mediated hypertension

Giorgio Recordati, Federica Zorzoli, Alberto Zanchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To verify whether the normal kidney exerts a supportive, facilitatory action on renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), the effects of unilateral and bilateral nephrectomy on RSNA have been studied. Methods: The RSNA, rectal temperature (T), rate of breathing (RB), arterial blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were continuously recorded in three groups of pentobarbital anaesthetized, spontaneously breathing Sprague-Dawley rats: group 1 (n = 5): both kidneys intact; group 2 (n = 5): left surgical nephrectomy; group 3 (n = 5): left surgical nephrectomy and functional exclusion of the right kidney (functional right nephrectomy, FRN), produced by a tight ligature of the renal hilum which was maintained for 3 h. In a fourth group (n = 7), in which nerve activity was not recorded, reopening of the right renal hilum was preceded or followed by intravenous administration of captopril (3 mg/kg). Results: In groups 1 and 2 RSNA increased from 22.3 ± 2.1 to 122.9 ± 13.6 and from 26.7 ± 1.2 to 93.2 ± 14.0 impulses/s (mean ± SEM), respectively, without concomitant changes in cardiovascular parameters. In group 3 RSNA decreased from 39.1 ± 3.1 to 13.7 ± 2.6 impulses/s during the 3 h of FRN. In group 3 the reopening of the right renal hilum was followed by a marked increase in BP and HR that was prevented or reversed by intravenous captopril in rats of group 4. Conclusions: The decrease in RSNA observed in rats during bilateral nephrectomy, in contrast to the increase observed in rats with one or both kidneys intact, suggests that the kidney as a whole exerts a supportive role on sympathetic nerve activity. The hypertension and tachycardia that follows the reopening of the right kidney hilum appears to be caused by the generation of endogenous angiotensin II; this is the first evidence of an acute angiotensin-mediated renal hypertension. (C) Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1287
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Acute angiotensin-mediated hypertension
  • Acute renal hypertension
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Experimental hypertension
  • Functional nephrectomy
  • Nephrectomy
  • Renal chemoreceptors
  • Renal nerve activity
  • Renal sensory innervation
  • Sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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