Role of Vasopressin in Rat Models of Salt-Dependent Hypertension Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Dietary salt intake increases both plasma sodium and osmolality and therefore increases vasopressin (VP) release from the neurohypophysis. Although this effect could increase blood pressure by inducing fluid reabsorption and vasoconstriction, acute activation of arterial baroreceptors inhibits VP neurons via GABAA receptors to oppose high blood pressure. Here we review recent findings demonstrating that this protective mechanism fails during chronic high salt intake in rats. RECENT FINDINGS: Two recent studies showed that chronic high sodium intake causes an increase in intracellular chloride concentration in VP neurons. This effect causes GABAA receptors to become excitatory and leads to the emergence of VP-dependent hypertension. One study showed that the increase in intracellular chloride was provoked by a decrease in the expression of the chloride exporter KCC2 mediated by local secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and activation of TrkB receptors. Prolonged high dietary salt intake can cause pathological plasticity in a central homeostatic circuit that controls VP secretion and thereby contribute to peripheral vasoconstriction and hypertension.


  • Prager-Khoutorsky, Masha
  • Choe, Katrina
  • Levi, David I
  • Bourque, Charles W

publication date

  • May 2017