Mechanisms by which nephrectomy stimulates adrenal renin.
Renin has been identified in the adrenal gland by several investigators. Nephrectomy is the most potent stimulator of adrenal renin, and in the present study we investigated the mechanism by which nephrectomy stimulates adrenal renin. The pituitary plays a permissive role since hypophysectomy abolished the response of adrenal renin to nephrectomy (from 117.3 +/- 14.55 to 10.37 +/- 1.63 ng angiotensin I/mg protein/hr) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) treatment restored the response to nephrectomy in hypophysectomized rats to 120 +/- 20.62 ng angiotensin I/mg protein/hr. However, large doses of ACTH given to intact rats did not increase adrenal renin to the high level observed after nephrectomy. Potassium also plays an important role, since prevention of hyperkalemia after nephrectomy by treatment with a cation exchange resin, sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate), significantly reduced the adrenal renin response to nephrectomy. A third factor involved is the lack of negative feedback by plasma angiotensin II. Infusion of angiotensin II intraperitoneally prevented the rise in adrenal renin after nephrectomy (from 65.25 +/- 7.60 to 9.27 +/- 0.99 ng angiotensin I/mg protein/hr) despite an increase in plasma potassium and corticosterone. In conclusion, three factors influence the response of adrenal renin to nephrectomy: 1) the pituitary through the release of ACTH, 2) a direct stimulation by high plasma potassium levels, 3) the lack of angiotensin II feedback inhibition. Whether the high adrenal renin contributes to the high aldosterone observed in rats after nephrectomy remains to be established.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association