Salt-Sensitive Hypertension, Renal Injury, and Renal Vasodysfunction Associated With Dahl Salt-Sensitive Rats Are Abolished in Consomic SS.BN1 Rats

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Background Abnormal renal hemodynamic responses to salt-loading are thought to contribute to salt-sensitive (SS) hypertension. However, this is based largely on studies in anesthetized animals, and little data are available in conscious SS and salt-resistant rats. Methods and Results We assessed arterial blood pressure, renal function, and renal blood flow during administration of a 0.4% NaCl and a high-salt (4.0% NaCl) diet in conscious, chronically instrumented 10- to 14-week-old Dahl SS and consomic SS rats in which chromosome 1 from the salt-resistant Brown-Norway strain was introgressed into the genome of the SS strain (SS.BN1). Three weeks of high salt intake significantly increased blood pressure (20%) and exacerbated renal injury in SS rats. In contrast, the increase in blood pressure (5%) was similarly attenuated in Brown-Norway and SS.BN1 rats, and both strains were completely protected against renal injury. In SS.BN1 rats, 1 week of high salt intake was associated with a significant decrease in renal vascular resistance (-8%) and increase in renal blood flow (15%). In contrast, renal vascular resistance failed to decrease, and renal blood flow remained unchanged in SS rats during high salt intake. Finally, urinary sodium excretion and glomerular filtration rate were similar between SS and SS.BN1 rats during 0.4% NaCl and high salt intake. Conclusions Our data support the concept that renal vasodysfunction contributes to blood pressure salt sensitivity in Dahl SS rats, and that genes on rat chromosome 1 play a major role in modulating renal hemodynamic responses to salt loading and salt-induced hypertension.