© 2018 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society. All three epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) subunits (α, β, and γ) and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a known regulator of ENaC, are located in vasopressin (VP) synthesizing magnocellular neurons in the hypothalamic supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei. Our previous study showed that ENaC mediates a Na+ leak current that affects the steady-state membrane potential of VP neurons. This study was conducted in Dahl salt-sensitive (Dahl-SS) rats to determine if any abnormal responses in the expression of ENaC subunits and MR occur in the hypothalamus and kidney in response to a high dietary salt intake. After 21 days of high salt consumption, Dahl-SS rat resulted in a significant increase in γENaC expression and exhibited proteolytic cleavage of this subunit compared to Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats. Additionally, Dahl-SS rats had dense somato-dendritic γENaC immunoreactivity in VP neurons, which was absent in SD rats. In contrast, SD rats fed a high salt diet had significantly decreased αENaC subunit expression in the kidney and MR expression in the hypothalamus. Plasma osmolality measured daily for 22 days demonstrated that Dahl-SS rats fed a high salt diet had a steady increase in plasma osmolality, whereas SD rats had an initial increase that decreased to baseline levels. Findings from this study demonstrate that Dahl-SS rats lack a compensatory mechanism to down regulate ENaC during high dietary salt consumption, which may contribute to the development of hypertension.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Mills, N., Sharma, K., Huang, K., & Teruyama, R. (2018). Effect of dietary salt intake on epithelial Na+ channels (ENaCs) in the hypothalamus of Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Physiological Reports, 6 (16) https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.13838