Tissue kallikrein cleaves low-molecular-weight (low-M(r)) kininogen to produce the vasoactive kinin peptide. It has been suggested that hypertensive patients with low urinary kallikrein excretion may have a defect in sodium handling. In this study, we examined the effect of a high-salt diet on the expression of tissue kallikrein and kininogen genes in Dahl salt-sensitive rats (Dahl-SS), spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), and normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats (SD) by Northern and Western blot analysis and radioimmunoassay. Control and experimental groups received normal and high-salt diets containing 0.4% and 8% NaCl, respectively, for 6 wk. High-salt diet induced a significant time-dependent increase of blood pressure in both strains of hypertensive rats and a slight but significant increase of blood pressure in normotensive SD rats. Hepatic kininogen mRNA levels of both Dahl-SS and SHR on a high-salt diet increased 2.4-fold and 2.0-fold, respectively, while alpha 1-antitrypsin mRNA levels were not changed in rats receiving high-salt diet. Immunoreactive total kininogen and low-M(r) kininogen (58 kDa) levels in sera increased in response to high-salt diet in both strains of hypertensive rats. In SD rats, the low-M(r) kininogen level in sera was unaltered, whereas total kininogen increased in response to high-salt diet. Tissue kallikrein mRNAs in the kidney and salivary glands of Dahl-SS, SHR, and SD rats were reduced, whereas beta-actin mRNA was not altered by high-salt diet. Similarly, immunoreactive intrarenal kallikrein levels were reduced in these rats in response to high-salt diet. These studies show that increases in blood pressure after salt loading in Dahl-SS and SHR are accompanied by increases in low-M(r) kininogen. Tissue kallikrein gene expression in hypertensive Dahl-SS and SHR and normotensive SD rats is suppressed after salt loading. These findings show that reduced renal kallikrein expression and increased kininogen expression is regulated at the transcriptional level during salt loading.
- Copyright © 1996 the American Physiological Society