Downregulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), and nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS2) in the kidneys of Dahl rodents causes salt sensitivity, while restoring their expression aids in Na+ excretion and blood pressure reduction. Loading cholesterol into collecting duct (CD) cells represses fluid shear stress (FSS)-mediated COX2 activity. Thus, we hypothesized that cholesterol represses flow-responsive genes necessary to effectuate Na+ excretion. To this end, CD cells were used to test whether FSS induces these genes and if cholesterol loading represses them. Mice fed either 0% or 1% cholesterol diet were injected with saline, urine volume and electrolytes were measured, and renal gene expression determined. FSS-exposed CD cells demonstrated increases in HO-1 mRNA by 350-fold, COX2 by 25-fold, and NOS2 by 8-fold in sheared cells compared with static cells (P < 0.01). Immunoblot analysis of sheared cells showed increases in HO-1, COX2, and NOS2 protein, whereas conditioned media contained more HO-1 and PGE2 than static cells. Cholesterol loading repressed the sheared mediated protein abundance of HO-1 and NOS2 as well as HO-1 and PGE2 concentrations in media. In cholesterol-fed mice, urine volume was less at 6 h after injection of isotonic saline (P < 0.05). Urinary Na+ concentration, urinary K+ concentration, and osmolality were greater, whereas Na+ excretion was less, at the 6-h urine collection time point in cholesterol-fed versus control mice (P < 0.05). Renal cortical and medullary HO-1 (P < 0.05) and NOS2 (P < 0.05) mRNA were repressed in cholesterol-fed compared with control mice. Cholesterol acts to repress flow induced natriuretic gene expression, and this effect, in vivo, may contribute to renal Na+ avidity.
Keywords: blood pressure; collecting duct; flow; shear.