An immunohistochemical evaluation of the effect of salt (NaCI) on adrenal adrenomedullin content in Dahl rats.
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Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a 52 amino acid vasodilator peptide isolated, in 1993, from human pheochromocytoma. It has been demonstrated in the adrenal medulla of several mammalian species, including humans and rats. There have been conflicting results of the tissue distribution in the adrenal cortex. Hypertension is a complex trait with multiple genetic and environmental influences. Furthermore, salt-sensitive hypertension is characterized by a cluster of renal, hormonal, and metabolic derangements that might favour the development of cardiovascular and renal complications. Therefore the objective of this study was to investigate the adrenal distribution of ADM as well as to semi-quantitatively assess the adrenomedullin secretory capacity of the adrenal gland in the rat model of salt sensitive hypertension. Fourty-four male weanling rats were divided into 4 experimental groups and placed on a dietary regimen for 6 weeks viz. Dahl salt sensitive (DSS) rats on a high sodium diet (8% NaCl), DSS on a normal sodium diet (1% NaCl) matched with normotensive Dahl salt resistant (DSR) rats on the same dietary treatments. Blood pressure was monitored by tail-cuff readings and by the end of the six weeks, the DSS rats developed hypertension with tachycardia irrespective of the diet they were fed. The normal sodium diet was found to delay the development of hypertension, whilst the high sodium diet exacerbated the development of hypertension. Kidney weights and heart weights were greater in DSS rats than DSR rats probably due to their renal pathology or cardiac hypertrophy. Adrenomedullin immunopositivity was found predominantly in the adrenal medulla, and to varying degrees in the zona glomerulosa and zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex. The semi-quantitative analysis indicate that there was a 6.3 fold increase in ADM content of DSS rats compared to the DSR rats, where both consumed the 1% NaCI supplemented diet (DSR : 5.98 ± 0.3 vs. DSS : 37.85 ± 0.5, P