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The influence of neurohypophysial hormones on renal function in the acutely hypophysectomized rat.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


1. Renal function and the effect of neurohypophysial hormone replacement was investigated in anaesthetized, acutely hypophysectomized, male rats. 2. Although urine production was only slightly lower over the 8 h post-operative study period in hypophysectomized rats, sodium excretion was greatly depressed reaching only 3.5 +/- 1.4 mumol/min compared with a peak of 13.2 +/- 1.0 mumol/min in intact animals. 3. In association with a decline in mean arterial blood pressure, glomerular filtration rate in hypophysectomized rats fell to 2.1 +/- 0.2 ml/min 8 h after operation by comparison with a mean rate in intact rats of 3.2 +/- 0.2 ml/min. 4. Plasma corticosterone levels were much lower in hypophysectomized (4 +/- 2 ng/ml) than in intact (36 +/- 4 ng/ml) rats, plasma aldosterone was reduced to a lesser extent (0.41 +/- 0.08 compared with 0.76 +/- 0.04 ng/ml). While oxytocin was not detectable in hypophysectomized rat plasma, trace levels of vasopressin (0.16 +/- 0.04 mu u./ml) were found. In intact unanaesthetized rats basal plasma levels of oxytocin were 0.32 +/- 0.13 mu u./ml and vasopressin were 0.85 +/- 0.19 mu u./ml. 5. Administration of oxytocin at 150 mu u./min, which produced plasma hormone levels (24.0 +/- 2.5 mu u./ml) greatly in excess of basal concentrations, increased renal sodium excretion but did not alter urine flow. Oxytocin administration at the lower rate of 15 mu u./min producing plasma hormone levels of 2.60 +/- 0.1 mu u./ml, did not alter renal sodium excretion. 6. Arginine vasopressin administered at 12 mu u./min induced plasma hormone levels of 1.54 +/- 0.09 mu u./ml and produced a large antidiuresis and small increase in the rate of sodium excretion. 7. The natriuretic response to vasopressin was potentiated by concurrent administration of oxytocin at 15 mu u./min. The peak sodium excretion of 5.8 +/- 1.0 mumol/min, however, remained well below that seen in intact rats. 8. It is concluded that, as restoration of posterior pituitary hormones at or above the physiological range only partially restored sodium excretion, the absence of anterior pituitary factors may also contribute directly or indirectly to the renal sodium retention of the hypophysectomized rat.

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