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Renal molecular mechanisms underlying altered Na+ handling and genesis of hypertension during adulthood in prenatally undernourished rats

  • Leucio D. Vieira-Filho (a1) (a2), Edjair V. Cabral (a1) (a2), Juliane S. Farias (a1), Paulo A. Silva (a2) (a3), Humberto Muzi-Filho (a2) (a3), Adalberto Vieyra (a2) (a3) and Ana D. O. Paixão (a1) (a2)...


In the present study, we investigated the development of hypertension in prenatally undernourished adult rats, including the mechanisms that culminate in dysfunctions of molecular signalling in the kidney. Dams were fed a low-protein multideficient diet throughout gestation with or without α-tocopherol during lactation. The time course of hypertension development followed in male offspring was correlated with alterations in proximal tubule Na+-ATPase activity, expression of angiotensin II (Ang II) receptors, and activity of protein kinases C and A. After the establishment of hypertension, Ang II levels, cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2) and NADPH oxidase subunit expression, lipid peroxidation and macrophage infiltration were examined in renal tissue. Lipid peroxidation in undernourished rats, which was very intense at 60 d, decreased at 90 d and returned to control values by 150 d. During the prehypertensive phase, prenatally undernourished rats exhibited elevated renal Na+-ATPase activity, type 2 Ang II receptor down-regulation and altered protein kinase A:protein kinase C ratio. Stable late hypertension coexisted with highly elevated levels of Ang II-positive cells in the cortical tubulointerstitium, enhanced increase in the expression of p47phox (NADPH oxidase regulatory subunit), marked down-regulation of COX-2 expression, expanded plasma volume and decreased creatinine clearance. These alterations were reduced when the dams were given α-tocopherol during lactation. The offspring of well-nourished dams treated with α-tocopherol exhibited most of the alterations encountered in the offspring of undernourished dams not treated with α-tocopherol. Thus, alterations in proximal tubule Na+ transport, subcellular signalling pathways and reactive oxygen species handling in renal tissue underpin the development of hypertension.

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* Corresponding author: A. D. O. Paixão, fax +55 81 2126 8976, email


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Renal molecular mechanisms underlying altered Na+ handling and genesis of hypertension during adulthood in prenatally undernourished rats

  • Leucio D. Vieira-Filho (a1) (a2), Edjair V. Cabral (a1) (a2), Juliane S. Farias (a1), Paulo A. Silva (a2) (a3), Humberto Muzi-Filho (a2) (a3), Adalberto Vieyra (a2) (a3) and Ana D. O. Paixão (a1) (a2)...


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