Increased renal medullary oxidative stress produces hypertension

Ayako Makino, Meredith M. Skelton, Ai Ping Zou, Richard J. Roman, Allen W. Cowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The present study examined whether chronic increased oxidative stress within the medulla of the kidney lowers medullary blood flow and leads to hypertension. Optical fibers were implanted into the renal cortex and medulla of uninephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats (Harlan Sprague-Dawley, Madison, Wis) for the daily measurement of blood flow to these regions using laser-Doppler flowmetry techniques, while arterial pressure was measured from an indwelling aortic catheter. A renal medullary interstitial catheter was implanted for the continuous delivery of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) inhibitor, diethyldithiocarbamic acid (DETC), at a dose of 7.5 mg/kg/d. Renal interstitial superoxide (O2-) levels were determined by perfusing an O2- sensitive fluorescent dye, dihydroethidium, through a microdialysis probe implanted into the medulla. Urine samples (24 hours) were collected for measurements of isoprostane excretion. The results indicate that medullary DETC infusions increased tissue O2- concentrations in the renal medulla (93.4±22.3,n=S, saline and 867.3±260.2, n=8, DETC; fluorescence units) and increased urinary 8-isoprostane excretion (4.1±0.4 ng/d, n=9, saline and 8.8±1.6 ng/d, n= 10, DETC). Mean arterial pressure increased 24 hours after the start of intrarenal DETC infusion and remained nearly 20 mm Hg above control pressure throughout the 5 days of medullary SOD inhibition. During chronic medullary DETC infusion, medullary blood flow was significantly reduced (42.7%), whereas cortical blood flow was unchanged. Intravenous infusion of the same dose of DETC produced no changes in renal medullary or cortical blood flow or arterial blood pressure. The present experiments indicate that an increase in superoxide concentration within the renal medulla selectively reduces medullary blood flow resulting in chronic hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-672
Number of pages6
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Hemodynamics
  • Oxygen
  • Renal blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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