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Sodium butyrate ameliorates deoxycorticosterone acetate/salt-induced hypertension and renal damage by inhibiting the MR/SGK1 pathway


Our recent work demonstrates that infusion of sodium butyrate (NaBu) into the renal medulla blunts angiotensin II-induced hypertension and improves renal injury. The present study aimed to test whether oral administration of NaBu attenuates salt-sensitive hypertension in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)/salt-treated rats. Uninephrectomized male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were treated with DOCA pellets (150 mg/rat) plus 1% NaCl drinking water for 2 weeks. Animals received oral administration of NaBu (1 g/kg) or vehicle once per day. Our results showed that NaBu administration significantly attenuated DOCA/salt-increased mean arterial pressure from 156 ± 4 mmHg to 136 ± 1 mmHg. DOCA/salt treatment markedly enhanced renal damage as indicated by an increased ratio of kidney weight/body weight, elevated urinary albumin, extensive fibrosis, and inflammation, whereas kidneys from NaBu-treated rats exhibited a significant reduction in these renal damage responses. Compared to the DOCA/salt group, the DOCA/salt-NaBu group had ~30% less salt water intake and decreased Na+ and Cl- excretion in urine but no alteration in 24-h urine excretion. Mechanistically, NaBu inhibited the protein levels of several sodium transporters stimulated by DOCA/salt in vivo, such as βENaC, γENaC, NCC, and NKCC-2. Further examination showed that NaBu downregulated the expression of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and serum and glucocorticoid-dependent protein kinase 1 (SGK1) in DOCA/salt-treated rats or aldosterone-treated human renal tubular duct epithelial cells. These results provide evidence that NaBu may attenuate DOCA/salt-induced hypertension and renal damage by inhibiting the MR/SGK1 pathway.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant No. 81600322 and No. 81770707.

Author information




LW designed the experiments and drafted the manuscript. QZ supervised the animal experiments and revised the manuscript. CW, ZC, and LZ collected the animal samples and analyzed the effects of NaBu by molecular methods and ELISA tests in tissues and cells. YZ, MD, CH, and YL performed animal experiments and recorded blood pressure.

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Correspondence to Lei Wang.

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Wu, C., Chen, Z., Zhang, L. et al. Sodium butyrate ameliorates deoxycorticosterone acetate/salt-induced hypertension and renal damage by inhibiting the MR/SGK1 pathway. Hypertens Res 44, 168–178 (2021).

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  • DOCA
  • hypertension
  • sodium butyrate
  • MR
  • SGK1


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