Cation fluxes and Na+-K+-activated ATPase activity in erythrocytes of patients with essential hypertension.
Recently it has been claimed that the active potassium influx in erythrocytes of patients with essential hypertension would be increased. In view of the diagnostic and possibly therapeutic potential of this claim, we have determined the Na+-K+ activated ATPase activity and the affinity of the enzyme for Na+, K+, and ATP in membranes isolated from erythrocytes of hypertensive (with and without medication) and normotensive subjects. Subsequently, the active (ouabain-sensitive) sodium and potassium fluxes and their ratios have been determined after treatment of intact erythrocytes either with cold or with p-chloromercuribenzene-sulfonate (PCMBS). Finally, in view of a subsequent claim that the furosemide-sensitive, ouabain-insensitive cation fluxes would be greatly reduced in erythrocytes of patients with essential hypertension, we have determined these fluxes in choline chloride medium containing ouabain with and without furosemide. For none of these parameters has any significant difference between hypertensive and normotensive subjects been found except for a decrease in the ouabain-sensitive K+ influx after cold treatment in hypertensives. This is also true for the hypertensive subjects who had a known hypertensive parent. It is concluded that the results do not support a role of Na+-K+ activated ATPase or the furosemide-sensitive cation carrier in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension, and that ouabain-sensitive and furosemide-sensitive cation flux determinations in erythrocytes do not seem to be useful for the diagnosis of this condition.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association