First published July 1, 1975 - More info
Studies were undertaken to characterize the renal responses to acute unilateral renal denervation and the mechanisms involved in these responses. Denervation was produced in anesthetized nondiuretic rats by application of phenol to the left renal artery. Studies were also performed in sham-denervated nondiuretic rats. Whole kidney and individual nephron studies were performed before and after denervation or sham denervation. Denervation increased urine volume from the left kidney to about twice its control value (P less than 0.001) and increased urinary sodium excretion from 332 neq min minus -1 to 1,887 neq min minus -1 (P less than 0.001). Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal plasma flow (RPF) remained unchanged in both kidneys after the procedure. The innervated right kidney showed no changes in urine volume or in sodium excretion. After denervation, late proximal ratio of tubular fluid inulin concentration to that of plasma [(F/P)In] decreased from 2.23 to 1.50 (P less than 0.001) while single nephron GFR remained unchanged. Absolute reabsorption decreased from 16.5 to 9.9 n. min minus -1 (P less than 0.001). (F/P)In ratios were also decreased in early distal (from 6.21 to 3.18, P less 0.001) and late distal convolutions (from 16.41 to 8.33, P less than 0.001) during the experimental period. (F/P)Na ratios remained unchanged in the early distal convolutions, but increased from 0.18 to 0.38 (P less than 0.01) in late distal convolutions after denervation. Absolute Na reabsorption after denervation increased in the loop of Henle, distal convolution, and collecting ducts. Any changes in intrarenal hydrostatic pressures after denervation were always small. There were no changes in GFR, RPF, urine volume, urinary sodium excretion, or late proximal (F/P)In after sham denervation. We conclude that the diuresis and natriuresis seen after acute renal denervation were caused by a marked depression of sodium and water reabsorption in the proximal tubule with partial compensation in more distal nephron segments. These responses appeared to be unrelated to systemic or intrarenal hemodynamic changes. The results demonstrate an effect of the renal nerves on proximal tubular function.