Activity and responsiveness of the renin-angiotensin system in the aging rat

Michele M. Thompson, Terry T. Oyama, Francis J. Kelly, Thomas M. Kennefick, Sharon Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The systemic renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is suppressed in normal aging, but the activity of the tissue RAS is not well defined. We examined the systemic and intrarenal RAS status of aging normal rats and responses to suppression and stimulation of the production of endogenous ANG II. Studies were performed in young (3 mo) and early aging (15 mo) male Sprague-Dawley rats. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors modestly decreased mean arterial pressure (MAP) in young (3 mo) and early aging (15 mo) rats and limited proteinuria in the older rats. There were no significant age-related effects on renal function or on endogenous RAS activity. Intravenous infusion of the precursor ANG I led to comparable increases in MAP in younger and older rats. In contrast, the renal effects (reduction in glomerular filtration and plasma flow rates) were exaggerated in the older animals. Intrarenal arterial ANG I did not affect MAP in any group. In young rats, there were no significant hemodynamic effects in either the ipsilateral (infused) or the contralateral (noninfused) kidney. In the older rats, both kidneys had a significant fall in renal renal plasma flow rate (RPF) with left renal arterial infusion of ANG I. Accordingly, these studies early in the course of aging found only subtle changes in the activity, responsiveness, and metabolism of the RAS. Thus early aging is associated with a modest but important increase in sensitivity to RAS stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1787-R1794
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 48-5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Kidney
  • Proteinuria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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