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      Pericyte Regulation of Renal Medullary Blood Flow

      a , b

      Cardiorenal Medicine

      S. Karger AG

      Vasa recta, Microcirculation, Oxygen, Nitric oxide, Kidney

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          Pericytes are contractile smooth muscle-like cells that surround descending vasa recta (DVR) and provide their capability for vasomotion. The importance of the medullary pericyte derives from the role of DVR to distribute most or all of the blood flow from juxtamedullary cortex to the renal inner and outer medulla. Physiological processes that are likely to be influenced by pericyte constriction of DVR include the urinary concentrating mechanism and pressure natriuresis. Oxygen tensions in the medulla are low, so that subtle variation of pericyte vasomotion might play a role to abrogate hypoxia and prevent insult to the medullary thick ascending limb of Henle. Known vasoconstrictors of DVR include angiotensin II, endothelins, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and adenosine. Vasodilators include prostaglandin E<sub>2</sub>, adenosine, acetylcholine, bradykinin, and nitric oxide.

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          Antioxidants for hypertension.

          Increasing evidence implicates reactive oxygen species in the pathogenesis of hypertension and its cardiovascular complications. By altering the balance in the endothelium between vasoconstrictors such as thromboxane and isoprostanes and vasodilators such as nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species contribute to endothelium-dependent contractions and increased vascular resistance. Antioxidants can restore endothelial function and decrease blood pressure in several models of hypertension and in some, but not all, studies of humans with essential hypertension. The potential of antioxidant therapy for hypertension is considerable.

            Author and article information

            Nephron Exp Nephrol
            Cardiorenal Medicine
            S. Karger AG
            June 2001
            23 April 2001
            : 9
            : 3
            : 165-170
            aDivision of Nephrology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., and bDepartment of Biology, Towson University, Towson, Md., USA
            52608 Exp Nephrol 2001;9:165–170
            © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Page count
            Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 15, Pages: 6
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            Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

            Kidney, Nitric oxide, Oxygen, Microcirculation, Vasa recta


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