Renal injury caused by intrarenal injection of phenol increases afferent and efferent renal sympathetic nerve activity

Shaohua Ye, Huiqin Zhong, Vijay Yanamadala, Vito M. Campese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Intrarenal injection of phenol in rats causes a persistent elevation in blood pressure (BP) and in norepinephrine (NE) secretion from the posterior hypothalamus (PH), and downregulation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in the PH. These studies suggest that afferent impulses from the kidney to the brain may be responsible for hypertension associated with renal injury. Downregulation of nNOS and IL-1β, two modulators of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity may mediate this activation. In this study we measured the effects of intrarenal phenol injection on peripheral SNS activity by direct renal nerve recording, plasma NE, nNOS, and IL-1β abundance in the brain. We also determined whether renal denervation or administration of clonidine prevented these effects of phenol. Acutely, the phenol injection increased both afferent and efferent renal sympathetic nerve activity, decreased urinary sodium excretion, and increased plasma NE. Three weeks after the phenol injection, BP and plasma NE remained elevated. Renal denervation and pretreatment with clonidine prevented the increase in BP and plasma NE caused by phenol. Chronic renal injury caused by phenol was associated with decreased abundance of IL-1β and nNOS in the PH. These studies have shown that a renal injury caused by phenol injection increases BP and central as well as peripheral SNS activity, which persist long after the injury. Renal denervation and antiadrenergic drugs abolish the effects of phenol on BP and plasma NE. Because NO and IL-1β modulate SNS activity, the stimulatory action of phenol on the SNS could be mediated by downregulation of nNOS and IL-1β in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-724
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Clonidine
  • Hypertension
  • Posterior hypothalamus
  • Renal nerve activity
  • Sympathetic nerve activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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