Reduced ratio of active-to-total urinary kallikrein in essential hypertension.
Urinary kallikrein excretion was studied in 34 patients with mild, normal-renin, essential hypertension without evidence of target organ damage and in 23 normotensive controls, using assays that measure both active (kininogenase activity) and total (active plus inactive) kallikrein. There was no significant difference in either active or total kallikrein excretion between the two groups. However, the ratio of active-to-total enzyme was decreased in the hypertensives (0.83 +/- 0.03 units/micrograms) compared to the normotensives (1.00 +/- 0.05 units/micrograms) (p less than 0.002). The active-to-total ratio was inversely related to sodium excretion in both groups, indicating that the proportion of active to inactive enzyme increased in response to reduced sodium intake. We conclude that, although absolute excretion of active and total kallikrein is not decreased, enzyme activity per microgram of total kallikrein excreted is reduced in mild, normal-renin essential hypertension. This abnormality may be due to a defective enzyme, or to a reduced excretion of active relative to inactive kallikrein. The latter could result from the presence of a urinary kallikrein inhibitor or to reduced activation of a proenzyme.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association