Research Article

Noradrenaline: a circulating inhibitor of sodium transport.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 20 October 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1025
  1. A Riozzi,
  2. A M Heagerty,
  3. R F Bing,
  4. H Thurston,
  5. J D Swales


    Leucocytes were isolated from venous blood of 11 normotensive volunteers with no family history of hypertension and the sodium efflux rate constants determined both alone and in the presence of increasing physiological concentrations of noradrenaline. There was a significant dose dependent reduction of total sodium efflux rate constant due to a reduction in ouabain sensitive sodium pump activity, glycoside insensitive efflux rate constants being unaffected. The magnitude of this effect was similar to the reduction in leucocyte sodium efflux rate constants observed in hypertensive patients (and their normotensive relatives). The noradrenaline induced depression of sodium pump activity was prevented by propranolol in a further seven experiments, suggesting that the effect was mediated by beta adrenoceptors. Catecholamines possibly functioning as circulating inhibitors of sodium transport may contribute to some of the disturbances in membrane electrolyte handling both in essential hypertension in man and in some experimental models of hypertension.