Role of RIHP and renal tubular sodium transporters in volume retention of pregnant rats

Ali A. Khraibi, Anca D. Dobrian, Tianzheng Yu, Michael J. Solhaug, Reinhart B. Billiar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Normal pregnancy is characterized by sodium and water conservation and an increase in plasma volume that is required for an uncomplicated pregnancy. Renal interstitial hydrostatic pressure (RIHP) is significantly decreased in pregnant rats. This decrease in RIHP may play an important role in the sodium and water retention that characterizes normal pregnancy. Paradoxically this enhanced renal sodium and water reabsorption appear to conflict with the consistent findings of a general decrease in abundance of renal tubular sodium transporters during normal pregnancy. The objective of this review is to examine the apparent discrepancy between the increases in renal tubular sodium and water reabsorption, facilitated by decreases in RIHP, and the seemingly discordant decreases in abundance of renal tubular transporters during normal pregnancy in rats. Methods: Western blots and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate abundance and localization of renal tubular transporters. RIHP was measured directly and continuously via a polyethylene (PE) matrix that was implanted in the left kidney of rats at the age of 11 to 16 weeks. Results: Average basal RIHP and fractional excretion of sodium (FENa) were found to be significantly lower (P < .05) in midterm pregnant (MP; n = 18) and late-term pregnant (LP; n = 20) rats compared with nonpregnant (NP; n = 16) rats (3.5 ± 0.3 mm Hg and 1.46 ± 0.24% for MP; 3.3 ± 0.1 mm Hg and 1.41 ± 0.21% for LP; and 7.6 ± 0.6 mm Hg and 3.67 ± 0.24% for NP). Cortical Na +-K+-ATPase and Na-Pi2a cotransporter (Na-Pi) protein expression tend to decline with pregnancy. Also cortical Na+-H + exchanger-1 (NHE-1) protein expression declines steadily during the course of pregnancy from MP to LP compared with that in NP rats, and cortical Na+-H+ exchanger-3 (NHE-3) protein expression is significantly lower in MP and LP compared with NP rats. Conclusions: We propose that during normal uncomplicated pregnancy, simultaneous decreases in RIHP and in net abundance of renal tubular sodium transporters occur. The effects of decreased RIHP exceed those of the reduction in net abundance, and presumably activity, of renal tubular transporters resulting in an enhanced net sodium and water retention during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1383
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Pregnant rats
  • Proximal tubule reabsorption
  • Renal interstitial hydrostatic pressure
  • Renal tubular transporters
  • Volume retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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