Vascular responses to ouabain and norepinephrine in low and normal renin hypertension.
A circulating Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor may cause arterial hypertension in patients with suppressed plasma renin activity, either directly or by sensitizing peripheral vessels to alpha-adrenergic stimulation. This hypothesis was tested by evaluating forearm arteriolar (plethysmographic technique) response to exogenous alpha-adrenergic stimulation by a 2-minute intra-arterial infusion of norepinephrine (0.1 microgram/dl tissue per minute) and to Na+, K+-ATPase inhibition by sequential 20-minute intra-arterial infusions of ouabain (0.36 and 0.72 microgram/dl tissue per minute). Two groups of hypertensive subjects with suppressed plasma renin activity, either essential or secondary to aldosterone excess, were compared with age-matched and sex-matched hypertensive subjects with normal plasma renin activity (n = 7 per group). No significant differences in forearm vascular response to norepinephrine were found among the three groups. Ouabain caused a highly significant, dose-related increment in forearm vascular resistance that was not accompanied by changes in the contralateral limb or systemic blood pressure. No significant interindividual differences in vascular responsiveness to ouabain were found. The individual increments in forearm vascular resistance during ouabain administration were unrelated to basal values or to plasma aldosterone, norepinephrine, or potassium concentrations. These data are not consistent with the hypothesis that suppressed basal Na+, K+-ATPase activity is primarily a characteristic of hypertensive patients with unresponsive plasma renin activity. Overall, these results cast doubts on the possibility of linking the development of human low renin hypertension to an endogenous Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association