Increased renin excretion is associated with augmented urinary angiotensin II levels in chronic angiotensin II-infused hypertensive rats

Liu Liu, Alexis A. Gonzalez, Michael McCormack, Dale M. Seth, Hiroyuki Kobori, L. Gabriel Navar, Minolfa C. Prieto

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Renin expression in principal cells of collecting ducts (CD) is upregulated in angiotensin II (ANG II)-dependent hypertensive rats; however, it remains unclear whether increased CD-derived renin undergoes tubular secretion. Accordingly, urinary levels of renin (uRen), angiotensinogen (uAGT), and ANG II (uANG II) were measured in chronic ANG II-infused Sprague-Dawley rats (80 ng/min for 14 days, n =10) and sham-operated rats (n = 10). Systolic blood pressure increased in the ANG II rats by day 5 and continued to increase throughout the study (day 13; ANG II: 175 10 vs. sham: 116 ± 2 mmHg; P 0.05). ANG II infusion increased renal cortical and medullary ANG II levels (cortical ANG II: 606 ± 72 vs. 247 ± 43 fmol/g; P < 0.05; medullary ANG II: 2,066 ± 116 vs. 646 ± 36 fmol/g; P <0.05). Although plasma renin activity (PRA) was suppressed in the ANG II-infused rats (0.3 ± 0.2 vs. 5.5 ± 1.8 ng ANG I·ml-1·h-1; P < 0.05), renin content in renal medulla was increased (12,605 ± 1,343 vs. 7,956 ± 765 ng ANG I·h-1·mg-1; P < 0.05). Excretion of uAGT and uANG II increased in the ANG II rats [uAGT: 1,107 ± 106 vs. 60 ± 26 ng/day; P < 0.0001; uANG II: 3,813 ± 431 vs. 2,080 ± 361 fmol/day; P <0.05]. By day 13, despite suppression of PRA, urinary prorenin content increased in ANG II rats [15.7 ± 3 vs. 2.6 ± 1 × 10-3 enzyme units excreted (EUE)/day, P < 0.01] as was the excretion rate of renin (8.6 ± 2 × 10-6 EUE/day) compared with sham (2.8 ± 1 × 10-6 EUE/day; P < 0.05). Urinary renin and prorenin protein levels examined by Western blot were augmented ~10-fold in the ANG II-infused rats. Concomitant AT1 receptor blockade with candesartan prevented the increase. Thus, in ANG II-dependent hypertensive rats with marked PRA suppression, increased urinary levels of renin and prorenin reflect their augmented secretion by CD cells into the luminal fluid. The greater availability of renin and AGT in the urine reflects the capability for intratubular ANG II formation which stimulates sodium reabsorption in distal nephron segments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F1195-F1201
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Collecting duct renin
  • Distal nephron
  • Gene expression
  • Prorenin
  • Urinary angiotensinogen


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