The interaction between genetic and environmental factors is important in the pathophysiology of hypertension. By examining the effects of two environmental factors--acute psychoemotional stress and dietary sodium intake--in rats with genetic hypertension, an important influence on central neural mechanisms governing the renal sympathetic neural control of renal function has been demonstrated. Additional studies of the central opioid systems have demonstrated an important role of opioid peptides in modulating the renal functional responses to acute psychoemotional stress. The observed renal functional alterations--antidiuresis, antinatriuresis, and renal vasoconstriction--are known to be capable of contributing to the initiation, development, and maintenance of the hypertensive process.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association