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Dissociation of Hypertension and Renal Damage After Cessation of High-Salt Diet in Dahl Rats.

Hypertension 2024 April 16
BACKGROUND: Every year, thousands of patients with hypertension reduce salt consumption in the efforts to control their blood pressure. However, hypertension has a self-sustaining character in a significant part of the population. We hypothesized that chronic hypertension leads to irreversible renal damage that remains after removing the trigger, causing an elevation of the initial blood pressure.

METHODS: Dahl salt-sensitive rat model was used for chronic, continuous observation of blood pressure. Rats were fed a high salt diet to induce hypertension, and then the diet was switched back to normal sodium content.

RESULTS: We found that developed hypertension was irreversible by salt cessation: after a short period of reduction, blood pressure grew even higher than in the high-salt phase. Notably, the self-sustaining phase of hypertension was sensitive to benzamil treatment due to sustaining epithelial sodium channel hyperactivity, as shown with patch-clamp analysis. Glomerular damage and proteinuria were also irreversible. In contrast, some mechanisms, contributing to the development of salt-sensitive hypertension, normalized after salt restriction. Thus, flow cytometry demonstrated that dietary salt reduction in hypertensive animals decreased the number of total CD45+ , CD3+ CD4+ , and CD3+ CD8+ cells in renal tissues. Also, we found tubular recovery and improvement of glomerular filtration rate in the postsalt period versus a high-salt diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on earlier publications and current data, poor response to salt restriction is due to the differential contribution of the factors recognized in the developmental phase of hypertension. We suggest that proteinuria or electrolyte transport can be prioritized over therapeutic targets of inflammatory response.

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