Renal NO production and the development of hypertension

Acta Physiol Scand. 2000 Jan;168(1):169-74. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-201x.2000.00669.x.


The juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA) has the very important functions of detecting the fluid flow rate to the distal tubule and thus controlling the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (tubuloglomerular feedback mechanism [TGF]) and renin release from the afferent arteriole. In studies of the TGF it has been evident that the sensitivity of this mechanism can be reset. Volume expansion will reset it to a low sensitivity leading to a high GFR and urine excretion rate, while dehydration will sensitize the TGF mechanism, giving rise to a low GFR and low urine excretion rate. Furthermore, we have found that in animals that spontaneously develop hypertension there is initially a sensitization of the TGF, leading to a reduced GFR and urine excretion rate, with fluid volume retention in the body and a consequent rise in blood pressure. When the pressure is raised, the TGF characteristics are normalized. In the macula densa (MD) cells in the JGA, there is a large production of NO from neuronal NOS. This production continuously reduces TGF sensitivity and is apparently impaired in animals that spontaneously develop hypertension. When we added an nNOS inhibitor to the drinking water for several weeks while measuring blood pressure, we found an increase in blood pressure after 3-4 weeks of treatment. This effect was abolished by a high salt diet. From these investigations, it also appeared as if nNOS-derived NO inhibited renin release. Experiments have also indicated that NO may resensitize inhibited G-protein coupled purinergic receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR / physiology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I
  • Nos1 protein, rat
  • GTP-Binding Proteins