Impaired renal haemodynamic response to L-arginine in essential hypertension: role of buffering anion and tubuloglomerular feedback

J Hypertens. 2007 Mar;25(3):679-88. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e3280117550.


Objective: To investigate whether changes in tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) dependent upon the tubular effects of buffering anions affect the renal haemodynamic response to L-arginine in healthy (control) individuals and patients with essential hypertension.

Methods: Mean arterial pressure (MAP), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), renal blood flow (RBF) and fractional excretion of sodium (FENa), chloride (FECl) and lithium (FELi) were measured in 10 control individuals and 10 hypertensive patients during two 3-h infusions of 0.012 mmol/kg per min L-arginine buffered with either HCl or citric acid.

Results: FELi, FECl and FENa increased (P < 0.001) comparably in controls and hypertensive individuals with arginine-HCl and decreased with arginine-citrate (P < 0.001). MAP was unchanged in controls with arginine-HCl and decreased by 3% with arginine-citrate (P < 0.001), and decreased in hypertensive individuals with both arginine-HCl and arginine-citrate (by 3 and 7%, respectively; P < 0.001). GFR increased with arginine-citrate in controls and hypertensive individuals (by 6.1 and 5.4%, respectively; P < 0.001), but did not change with arginine-HCl in controls and declined by 4.6% in hypertensive individuals (P < 0.05). RBF increased equally after arginine-citrate in controls and hypertensive individuals (by 34 and 33%, respectively; P < 0.001); it also increased after arginine-HCl (22 and 13%, respectively; P < 0.001), but less than after arginine-citrate (P < 0.001), and 41% less in hypertensive individuals than in controls (P < 0.001).

Discussion: Because arginine-HCl, unlike arginine-citrate, inhibits tubular reabsorption and elicits much less renal vasodilatation than does arginine-citrate, renal haemodynamics in response to L-arginine are modulated by changes in reabsorption and TGF according to the tubular effects of the attendant anion. As renal vasodilatation in hypertensive individuals was reduced only with arginine-HCl, which activates TGF, the blunted vasodilatation of the hypertensive kidney in response to arginine-HCl reflects an exaggerated response to an activated TGF.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anions
  • Arginine / pharmacology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Citric Acid
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / drug effects
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / blood supply
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / drug effects*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / drug effects
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Vasodilation / drug effects


  • Anions
  • Citric Acid
  • Arginine
  • Hydrochloric Acid