Renal effects of dopamine and dopexamine in the newborn anesthetized rabbit

Life Sci. 1992;50(3):195-202. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(92)90272-q.


The renal effects of dopexamine, a new dopaminergic agonist with marked beta 2-adrenergic agonist properties, but no alpha-adrenergic effect, has been studied in 8 newborn New Zealand rabbits, whose renal functional characteristics show close similarities with those of premature infants. Six animals were used as controls. After a control period, dopexamine was infused intravenously at a rate of 4 micrograms/kg per min and after a wash-out period, at 10 micrograms/kg per min. The renal effects of dopamine were studied in similar conditions. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal plasma flow (RPF) were determined by inulin and para-aminohippuric acid clearances, respectively. Dopexamine, 4 micrograms/kg per min, did not induce changes in cardiovascular and renal hemodynamics or in renal functions. At 10 micrograms/kg per min, a significant increase in urine flow rate (25 +/- 5%; p less than 0.01), urine sodium excretion (77 +/- 17%; p less than 0.01) and fractional sodium excretion (69 +/- 25%; p less than 0.05) was observed. The GFR, RPF and renal vascular resistance (RVR) were not affected. Heart rate increased slightly but significantly (8 +/- 3%; p less than 0.05), without change in mean blood pressure (MBP). Dopamine, 4 micrograms/kg per min, decreased slightly albeit significantly MBP (3 +/- 1%; p less than 0.05). At 10 micrograms/kg per min the only renal effect was a significant increase in RVR (19 +/- 6%; p less than 0.02). The different actions of these two dopaminergic agonists in this immature model could be explained by their respective ability to activate electively the adrenergic and dopaminergic peripheral receptors. The natriuretic and diuretic effect of dopexamine in normal immature rabbits, in the absence of changes in RPF or GFR is probably mediated by a direct action of this agent on dopaminergic tubular receptors. Failure of these two drugs to increase RPF may be related to an immaturity of the dopaminergic vascular receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dopamine / pharmacology*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Rabbits
  • Renal Circulation / drug effects
  • Urodynamics / drug effects


  • Adrenergic Agonists
  • dopexamine
  • Dopamine