Glucocorticoids Induce Nondipping Blood Pressure by Activating the Thiazide-Sensitive Cotransporter
Blood pressure (BP) normally dips during sleep, and nondipping increases cardiovascular risk. Hydrochlorothiazide restores the dipping BP profile in nondipping patients, suggesting that the NaCl cotransporter, NCC, is an important determinant of daily BP variation. NCC activity in cells is regulated by the circadian transcription factor per1. In vivo, circadian genes are entrained via the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. Here, we test whether abnormalities in the day:night variation of circulating glucocorticoid influence NCC activity and BP control. C57BL6/J mice were culled at the peak (1:00 AM) and trough (1:00 PM) of BP. We found no day:night variation in NCC mRNA or protein but NCC phosphorylation on threonine53 (pNCC), required for NCC activation, was higher when mice were awake, as was excretion of NCC in urinary exosomes. Peak NCC activity correlated with peak expression of per2 and bmal1 (clock genes) and sgk1 and tsc22d3 (glucocorticoid-responsive kinases). Adrenalectomy reduced NCC abundance and blunted the daily variation in pNCC levels without affecting variation in clock gene transcription. Chronic corticosterone infusion increased bmal1, per1, sgk1, and tsc22d3 expression during the inactive phase. Inactive phase pNCC was also elevated by corticosterone, and a nondipping BP profile was induced. Hydrochlorothiazide restored rhythmicity of BP in corticosterone-treated mice without affecting BP in controls. Glucocorticoids influence the day:night variation in NCC activity via kinases that control phosphorylation. Abnormal glucocorticoid rhythms impair NCC and induce nondipping. Night-time dosing of thiazides may be particularly beneficial in patients with modest glucocorticoid excess.
- Received December 31, 2015.
- Revision received January 11, 2016.
- Accepted February 8, 2016.
- © 2016 The Authors.
Hypertension is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.