Problems and pitfalls in the isolation of an endogenous Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor.
Plasma from volume-expanded and salt-loaded hypertensive animals and from patients with essential hypertension has been reported to inhibit Na+, K+-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase). Inhibition of the sodium pump in vascular smooth muscle caused by such a circulating factor could increase vascular tone and sensitivity to vasoactive agents, and thereby result in arterial hypertension. Numerous efforts in the past failed to isolate the putative factor from urine and plasma. Recent studies have suggested that the hypothalamus is an important source of an endogenous Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor, but its isolation from the tissue extracts has been rendered difficult by the presence of other cellular constituents that cause artifactual interference with the assays and purification procedures. Using an alternative approach of isolating the inhibitor from culture medium, we found that dispersed fetal rat hypothalamic neurons in a capillary culture system release a heat-stable, peptidic, low-molecular-weight, active sodium transport inhibitor that causes a reversible increase in vascular tone, sensitizes vascular smooth muscle to the vasoactive effect of norepinephrine, and possesses several characteristics of the putative endogenous digitalislike factor. This inhibitor may be a chemical mediator linking kidney, brain, and cardiovascular system in the genesis of experimental volume-expanded and salt-loaded hypertension and human essential hypertension.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association