Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kidney dopamine regulates blood pressure, life span

Date:
July 21, 2011
Source:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Summary:
The neurotransmitter dopamine is best known for its roles in the brain -- in signaling pathways that control movement, motivation, reward, learning and memory. Now, researchers report that dopamine produced outside the brain -- in the kidneys -- is important for renal function, blood pressure regulation and life span. Their studies suggest that the kidney-specific dopamine system may be a therapeutic target for treating hypertension and kidney diseases.

The neurotransmitter dopamine is best known for its roles in the brain -- in signaling pathways that control movement, motivation, reward, learning and memory.

Related Articles


Now, Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators have demonstrated that dopamine produced outside the brain -- in the kidneys -- is important for renal function, blood pressure regulation and life span. Their studies, published in the July Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest that the kidney-specific dopamine system may be a therapeutic target for treating hypertension and kidney diseases such as diabetic nephropathy.

Previous studies had suggested a role for dopamine in regulating kidney function and total body fluid volume, "but how that mechanism works was not clear," said Raymond Harris, M.D., chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Vanderbilt.

To explore dopamine's role in the kidney, Harris and Ming-Zhi Zhang, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt, eliminated kidney-specific dopamine production in mice (by knocking out a dopamine-generating enzyme only in the kidney) and studied the outcome.

They found that mice lacking kidney dopamine had high blood pressure at baseline and became more hypertensive when they consumed a high-salt diet, suggesting they may be a good model of salt-sensitive (essential) hypertension, Harris said. Alterations in the kidney dopamine system may predispose individuals to hypertension, he noted.

The investigators also showed that elimination of kidney dopamine increased renin production, which activates the angiotensin II system to increase salt and water reabsorption -- and produce hypertension.

"These animals retain salt and water when they don't have sufficient dopamine production in the kidney," Harris said. "Our studies highlight this whole other hormonal system that appears to balance or put the brakes on the renin-angiotensin system."

Currently, the renin-angiotensin system is the major target for treating chronic kidney diseases. Discovering another target -- the kidney dopamine system -- is exciting, the researchers said. They are exploring whether specific drugs that enhance the kidney dopamine system are effective in blocking hypertension and treating progressive kidney diseases.

The investigators predicted changes in kidney function in the mouse model, but they were "very surprised" to discover that the modified mice only lived about half as long as normal mice (15 months versus 30 months). They found increases in stress-related proteins in the kidney, heart and vasculature, suggesting that elimination of kidney dopamine causes systemic effects, Harris said.

"This kidney-specific dopamine system is not only important for kidney function and blood pressure regulation, but also for the overall health of the animal," Harris said. "If the dopamine system in the kidney is altered, the animals have a markedly shortened life span."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Vanderbilt O'Brien Center and by the Veterans Administration. Harris is the Ann and Roscoe R. Robinson Professor of Nephrology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ming-Zhi Zhang, Bing Yao, Suwan Wang, Xiaofeng Fan, Guanqing Wu, Haichun Yang, Huiyong Yin, Shilin Yang, Raymond C. Harris. Intrarenal dopamine deficiency leads to hypertension and decreased longevity in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; 121 (7): 2845 DOI: 10.1172/JCI57324

Cite This Page:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Kidney dopamine regulates blood pressure, life span." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719151920.htm>.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (2011, July 21). Kidney dopamine regulates blood pressure, life span. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719151920.htm
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Kidney dopamine regulates blood pressure, life span." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719151920.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins