Acute Renal Function in Chronically Sympathectomized Deoxycorticosterone Acetate-Treated Miniature Swine

Gail D. Thomas, Edward J. Zambraski

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4 Scopus citations


We recently validated a swine model in which chronic treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) produced an effective sympathectomy. These sympathectomized swine demonstrated a significantly attenuated hypertensive response when treated with deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA). Because renal nerve activity is elevated and important in controlling renal function and blood pressure in the DOCA swine model, we wanted to study the effect of chronic sympathectomy on acute renal hemodynamics and tubular function. Kidney function was assessed in 14 DOCA-treated miniature swine, 8 of which were sympathectomized by chronic treatment with 6-OHDA, while 6 served as controls. Effective renal sympathectomy in this model has been previously confirmed by a significant reduction (97%) of norepinephrine in renal cortical tissue. When anesthetized, mean arterial pressure and renal blood flow were similar between the two groups. Glomerular filtration rate was lower by 43%, urine flow rate by 71%, sodium excretion by 66%, and potassium excretion by 48% in the 6-OHDA DOCA animals. All of these parameters were significantly different from the intact DOCA controls. These results indicate that anesthetized, chronically sympathectomized swine exhibit decreased renal excretory function. The changes in renal function may have been due to the development of a tubular or glomerular supersensitivity to circulating antinatriuretic factors, since the 6-OHDA group had a 28% greater pressor response to the α-agonist phenylephrine and a significantly greater fall in mean arterial pressure in response to α-blockade with prazosin when compared with the controls. These changes in renal function may also explain why the 6-OHDA animals demonstrated a slight increase in mean arterial pressure in response to DOCA. Because acute renal denervation in DOCA-treated swine produces a diuresis and natriuresis, this study affirms that there may be important functional differences in acutely versus chronically denervated kidneys for which the implications under normal physiologic conditions are unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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