Journal Article

Stimulatory effect of insulin on tubular sodium reabsorption in normotensive subjects with a positive family history of hypertension

H. Herlitz, B. Widgren, V. Urbanavicius, S. Attvall and B. Persson

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 11, issue 1, pages 47-54
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 0931-0509
e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.ndt.a027065
Stimulatory effect of insulin on tubular sodium reabsorption in normotensive subjects with a positive family history of hypertension

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Background

Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia has been suggested as a pathogenetic mechanism in hypertension.

Methods

In this investigation the renal response to insulin was studied in normotensive subjects with a positive family history of hypertension in two generations (n = 14), in one weight-matched (n = 11) and one lean (n = 13) control group. During hyperinsulinaemia (euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp technique) we determined renal haemodynamics (clearances of 51Cr-EDTA and PAH) and urinary sodium excretion. Lithium clearance was used to estimate the segmental tubular reabsorption of sodium.

Results

In subjects with a positive family history of hypertension, hyperinsulinaemia did not influence renal plasma flow (RPF) or glomerular filtration rate (GFR) but urinary sodium excretion decreased by 50%. Estimated proximal tubular sodium reabsorption was unaffected by insulin while estimated distal fractional sodium reabsorption increased, P<0.01. At the end of the clamp a low-dose infusion of angiotensin II (0.1 ng/kg per min) was superimposed. GFR and RPF then decreased significantly concomitant with urinary excretion of sodium.

In control subjects hyperinsulinaemia caused an unchanged GFR in both groups, increased RPF in the lean control group and 15–25% reduction in sodium excretion. No alteration was seen in estimated proximal tubular sodium reabsorption, but estimated distal tubular sodium reabsorption increased (P<0.05) in the lean control group. Angiotensin II elicited a further increase in distal fractional tubular sodium reabsorption in both control groups (P<0.05).

Conclusions

In normotensive subjects with a positive family history of hypertension, in contrast to control subjects without such history, hyperinsulinaemia caused a marked decrease in urinary sodium excretion in presence of unchanged RPF and GFR indicating a renal tubular effect of insulin located at a distal site of the renal tubules. Angiotensin II caused further sodium retention, probably due to an effect on renal haemodynamics.

Keywords: insulin resistance; hyperinsulinaemia; hypertension; family history; angiotensin II; tubular sodium reabsorption

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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