There is evidence that in chronic renal failure, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. This study investigated the role of the renal innervation in suppressing high- and low-pressure baroreflex control of renal sympathetic nerve activity and heart rate in cisplatin-induced renal failure.
Renal failure was induced using cisplatin (5 mg kg(-1) , i.p.) and the rats used 7 days later. Groups of rats were anaesthetized and prepared for measurement of renal sympathetic nerve activity and heart rate. Acute unilateral or bilateral renal denervation was performed, and renal sympathetic nerve activity and heart rate baroreflex gain curves were generated while the cardiopulmonary receptors were stimulated using an acute saline volume load.
Cisplatin administration reduced (P < 0.05) glomerular filtration rate by 27%, increased sodium fractional excretions fourfold, plasma creatinine and kidney index by 39 and 30% respectively, (all P < 0.05) compared with control rats. In the renal failure rats, baroreflex sensitivity for renal sympathetic nerve activity and heart rate was reduced (P < 0.05) by 29% and 27% (both P < 0.05) compared with control animals. Bilateral, but not unilateral, renal denervation restored baroreflex sensitivity to normal values. Volume expansion reduced (P < 0.05) renal sympathetic nerve activity by 34% in control rats, but remained unchanged in the renal failure rats. Unilateral and bilateral renal denervation progressively restored the volume expansion induced renal sympathoinhibition to control values.
These findings reveal a significant role of the renal sensory innervation in cisplatin-damaged kidneys which blunt the normal baroreflex control of renal sympathetic nerve activity.