Renal responsiveness to aldosterone during exposure to head-down tilt bedrest.

V. A. Convertino, J. J. Elliott, D. A. Ludwig, C. E. Wade

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The kidneys represent a fundamental organ system responsible in part for the control of vascular volume. A 10% to 20% reduction in plasma volume is one of the fundamental adaptations during exposure to low gravity environments such as bedrest and space flight. Bedrest-induced hypovolemia has been associated with acute diuresis and natriuresis. Elevated baseline plasma renin activity and aldosterone levels have been observed in human subjects following exposure to head-down tilt and spaceflight without alterations in renal sodium excretion. Further, attempts to restore plasma volume with isotonic fluid drinking or infusion in human subjects exposed to head-down bedrest have failed. One explanation for these observations is that renal distal tubular cells may become less sensitive to aldosterone following exposure to head-down tilt, with a subsequent reduction in renal capacity for sodium retention. We hypothesized that elevated sodium and water excretion observed during prolonged exposure to bedrest and the subsequent inability to restore body fluids by drinking might be reflected, at least in part, by reduced renal tubular responsiveness to aldosterone. If renal tubular responsiveness to aldosterone were reduced with confinement to bedrest, then we would expect measures of renal sodium retention to be reduced when a bolus of aldosterone was administered in head-down tilt (HDT) bedrest compared to a control experimental condition. In order to test this hypothesis, we conducted an investigation in which we administered an acute bolus of aldosterone (stimulus) and measured responses in renal functions that included renal clearances of sodium and free water, sodium/potassium ratio in urine, urine sodium concentration, and total and fractional renal sodium excretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P179-180
JournalJournal of gravitational physiology : a journal of the International Society for Gravitational Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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