The kidney in the pathogenesis of hypertension: the role of renal nerves

Am J Kidney Dis. 1985 Apr;5(4):A27-31. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(85)80062-7.


The intrinsic efferent innervation of the kidney consists of exclusively noradrenergic fibers that innervate the preglomerular and postgomerular vasculature, all elements of the juxtagomerular apparatus and virtually all segments of the nephron in both cortical and medullo-papillary regions. Increases in efferent renal sympathetic nerve activity produce renal vasoconstriction, release of renin, catecholamines, prostaglandins and other vasoactive substances, and increases in renal tubular sodium reabsorption; these responses are graded and differentiated. The intrinsic afferent innervation of the kidney consists of mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors which participate in reno-renal and reno-systemic reflexes that modulate sympathetic neural outflow in an organ-specific differentiated pattern. Therefore, alterations in efferent and afferent renal nerve activity produce changes in several important renal functions known to contribute to the development and maintenance of hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Efferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney / innervation*
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Sodium / physiology


  • Sodium