Original papers: PDF OnlyLeenen Frans H.H.; Toal, Corey B.Journal of Hypertension: January 1989 - p 57-61 Buy Abstract Severe dietary sodium restriction initiated early in life is required to prevent development of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Moderate sodium restriction does not affect hypertension development. This relative insensitivity to sodium restriction may be related to compensatory increases in other pressor mechanisms, specifically the renin-angiotensin system. We evaluated this possibility by measuring plasma renin activity, the blood pressure response to the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril as well as blood pressure responsiveness to exogenous angiotensin II in SHR and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) raised from birth until 6 or 16 weeks on control (101 µmol Na+/g food), moderate (26µmol/g) or two severe (17 or 9µmol/g) sodium-restricted diets. Moderate sodium restriction did not affect development of hypertension, but also did not cause significant increases in PRA or the blood pressure response to captopril in SHR or WKY. In contrast, severe sodium restriction blunted or prevented the development of hypertension in SHR and was associated with (1) marked increases in plasma renin activity (2) increased maintenance of blood pressure by the renin-angiotensin system (as assessed by captopril), and (3) a marked decrease in the blood pressure response to angiotensin II. We conclude that the relative insensitivity of hypertension development in SHR to dietary sodium restriction does not relate to a compensatory increase in the activity of the renin-angiotensin system. The moderate sodium restriction employed (26µmol/g) may rather represent the lower end of the normal range © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.