Renal Sympathetic Denervation Attenuates Congestive Heart Failure in Angiotensin II-Dependent Hypertension: Studies with Ren-2 Transgenic Hypertensive Rats with Aortocaval Fistula

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2021;46(1):95-113. doi: 10.1159/000513071. Epub 2021 Feb 2.


Objective: We examined if renal denervation (RDN) attenuates the progression of aortocaval fistula (ACF)-induced heart failure or improves renal hemodynamics in Ren-2 transgenic rats (TGR), a model of angiotensin II (ANG II)-dependent hypertension.

Methods: Bilateral RDN was performed 1 week after creation of ACF. The animals studied were ACF TGR and sham-operated controls, and both groups were subjected to RDN or sham denervation. In separate groups, renal artery blood flow (RBF) responses were determined to intrarenal ANG II (2 and 8 ng), norepinephrine (NE) (20 and 40 ng) and acetylcholine (Ach) (10 and 40 ng) 3 weeks after ACF creation.

Results: In nondenervated ACF TGR, the final survival rate was 10 versus 50% in RDN rats. RBF was significantly lower in ACF TGR than in sham-operated TGR (6.2 ± 0.3 vs. 9.7 ± 0.5 mL min-1 g-1, p < 0.05), the levels unaffected by RDN. Both doses of ANG II decreased RBF more in ACF TGR than in sham-operated TGR (-19 ± 3 vs. -9 ± 2% and -47 ± 3 vs. -22 ± 2%, p < 0.05 in both cases). RDN did not alter RBF responses to the lower dose, but increased it to the higher dose of ANG II in sham-operated as well as in ACF TGR. NE comparably decreased RBF in ACF TGR and sham-operated TGR, and RDN increased RBF responsiveness. Intrarenal Ach increased RBF significantly more in ACF TGR than in sham-operated TGR (29 ± 3 vs. 17 ± 3%, p < 0.05), the changes unaffected by RDN. ACF creation induced marked bilateral cardiac hypertrophy and lung congestion, both attenuated by RDN. In sham-operated but not in ACF TGR, RDN significantly decreased mean arterial pressure.

Conclusion: The results show that RDN significantly improved survival rate in ACF TGR; however, this beneficial effect was not associated with improvement of reduced RBF or with attenuation of exaggerated renal vascular responsiveness to ANG II.

Keywords: Angiotensin II; Aortocaval fistula; Congestive heart failure; Hypertension; Renal blood flow; Renal denervation; Renal vascular reactivity.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Arteriovenous Fistula / complications
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / genetics
  • Heart Failure / metabolism
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Kidney / innervation*
  • Kidney / surgery
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Transgenic
  • Renin / genetics*
  • Sympathectomy*


  • Angiotensin II
  • Renin