Author(s): Lu D, Fu Y, LopezRuiz A, Zhang R, Juncos R,
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Abstract Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), which is abundantly expressed in the macula densa cells, attenuates tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF). We hypothesize that splice variants of nNOS are expressed in the macula densa, and nNOS-beta is a salt-sensitive isoform that modulates TGF. Sprague-Dawley rats received a low-, normal-, or high-salt diet for 10 days and levels of the nNOS-alpha, nNOS-beta, and nNOS-gamma were measured in the macula densa cells isolated with laser capture microdissection. Three splice variants of nNOS, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-mRNAs, were detected in the macula densa cells. After 10 days of high-salt intake, nNOS-alpha decreased markedly, whereas nNOS-beta increased two- to threefold in the macula densa measured with real-time PCR and in the renal cortex measured with Western blot. NO production in the macula densa was measured in the perfused thick ascending limb with an intact macula densa plaque with a fluorescent dye DAF-FM. When the tubular perfusate was switched from 10 to 80 mM NaCl, a maneuver to induce TGF, NO production by the macula densa was increased by 38 +/- 3\% in normal-salt rats and 52 +/- 6\% (P < 0.05) in the high-salt group. We found 1) macula densa cells express nNOS-alpha, nNOS-beta, and nNOS-gamma, 2) a high-salt diet enhances nNOS-beta, and 3) TGF-induced NO generation from macula densa is enhanced in high-salt diet possibly from nNOS-beta. In conclusion, we found that the splice variants of nNOS expressed in macula densa cells were alpha-, beta-, and gamma-isoforms and propose that enhanced level of nNOS-beta during high-salt intake may contribute to macula densa NO production and help attenuate TGF.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Renal Physiol
and referenced in Human Genetics & Embryology