Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy in rats induces systemic hypertension and sodium retention

A. A. Reyes, G. Robertson, D. J. Jenden, P. E. Cryer, F. I. Chasalow, S. Klahr

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7 Scopus citations


We examined the acute effects of bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotomy (BSV) on blood pressure and renal function in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Mean arterial pressure was greater (p < 0.0001) in rats with BSV than in sham-operated rats (SOR). Rats with BSV had a significantly lower effective renal plasma flow (p < 0.01), total sodium excretion (p < 0.005), fractional sodium excretion (p < 0.01), urine flow (p < 0.01), and fractional excretion of water (p < 0.02) than SOR. The glomerular filtration rate was not significantly different between the 2 groups of rats. Plasma potassium was greater in rats with BSV than in SOR (p < 0.02). Pretreatment with an inhibitor of the angiotensin-converting enzyme prevented the above changes in rats with BSV. Changes in renal function and mean arterial pressure could not be attributed to antidiuretic hormone since plasma levels of antidiuretic hormone were lower in rats with BSV than in SOR (p < 0.002). In addition, the activity of the sympathetic system was decreased in rats with BSV, as suggested by the lower plasma levels of epinephrine (p < 0.003) and norepinephrine (p < 0.02) and the significantly lower renal tissue concentrations of norepinephrine (p < 0.03). No significant changes in renal tissue concentrations of acetylcholine or choline, its precursor, were observed in BSV rats when compared to SOR, suggesting a lack of renal parasympathetic innervation. Plasma renin activity was lower in rats with BSV (p < 0.02) than in SOR, but this effect was blunted in rats given an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor prior to BSV. Plasma concentrations of aldosterone increased after BSV when compared to baseline measurements (p < 0.01). Plasma levels of corticosterone were lower 4h after BSV than at baseline (p < 0.02). The data indicate that acute BSV induces systemic hypertension, antidiuresis, antinatriuresis and hyperkalemia without affecting the glomerular filtration rate. This suggests a regulatory role of the abdominal vagus nerves on systemic blood pressure and on water and sodium excretion. These effects, which do not appear to be mediated by the sympathetic nervous system or vasopressin, may be secondary to increased angiotensin-aldosterone production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalMineral and Electrolyte Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


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