Research Article

Evidence for a circulating sodium transport inhibitor in essential hypertension.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.282.6267.847 (Published 14 March 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:847
  1. L Poston,
  2. R B Sewell,
  3. S P Wilkinson,
  4. P J Richardson,
  5. R Williams,
  6. E M Clarkson,
  7. G A MacGregor,
  8. H E de Wardener

    Abstract

    The active sodium transport of white cells and red cells obtained from patients with essential hypertension was impaired. Incubating white cells from normotensive subjects in serum obtained from patients with essential hypertension caused an impairment in sodium transport in the white cells of normotensive subjects similar to that found in the white cells of hypertensive patients. The impairment in sodium transport was due to a fall in the ouabain-sensitive component of the total sodium efflux rate constant. These results show that the serum of patients with essential hypertension contains a substance which influences sodium transport and that it has ouabain-like activity. They also suggest that it is this substance which causes the impairment in sodium transport in the leucocytes of patients with essential hypertension. These findings support the hypothesis that the rise in blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension is due to an increased concentration of a circulating sodium transport inhibitor which is continuously correcting a tendency for sodium retention by the kidney.