Abstract 160: Characterization of a Comt Knock-out Rat for Blood Pressure and Associated Phenotypes.
The catecholamine system plays an important role in the control of blood pressure and sodium excretion. One of the inactivation pathways of catecholamines is the enzymatic metabolism by catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt). There are conflicting data regarding the role of Comt on the development of salt-sensitive hypertension, so the goal of our study was to evaluate the importance of Comt in the context of a susceptible background in vivo. Comt was mutated in the Dahl SS rat by zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) injections targeting the sequence CTGTTCCAGGTCACCATCctcaatGGGGCATCCCAGGATCTT into SS/JrHsdMcwi (Dahl S) rat embryos. The resulting mutation was a 14-bp frameshift deletion in exon 4. Conscious blood pressure was measured by telemetry on male and female Comt knockout and wild type (WT) rats on low salt diet (0.4% NaCl) and during three weeks of high salt diet (8%NaCl). Disruption of Comt caused the protein not to express in the kidneys of the Dahl S rat. There were no differences in mean arterial pressure (MAP) between the Comt-/- and the Comt+/+ male rats at any time point during the day-night cycle at low or high salt diet. Body and organ weights, and protein and electrolyte excretion was also unchanged by the Comt mutation. On the other hand, female Comt-/- rats evidenced a higher MAP, which was only significantly higher at night during low salt diet (112±2 mmHg in Comt+/+ vs 125±2 mmHg in the Comt-/-, n>6) and both during day and night after 21 days of high-salt diet (∼ 30 mmHg difference between Comt+/+ and Comt-/- strains at both day and night). Systolic blood pressure differences were mostly responsible for the observed blood pressure diferences in females KO of the Comt gene, despite blood pressure effect, was not followed by a parallel difference in urine flow, electrolyte excretion or renal damage (protein and albumin excretion). In conclusion, we are the first ones to show that disruption of Comt enhances salt-sensitive hypertension in a gender-dependent manner.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.