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Nitric oxide in the developing kidney.
Although nitric oxide (NO) has a well-established role in regulating renal function in the adult, recent studies point to perhaps an even more critical role for NO in maintaining basal renal blood flow (RBF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in the developing kidney. The immature kidney has enhanced renal hemodynamic and functional responses to stimulation and inhibition of NO synthesis when compared with the adult, and these increased responses are not mediated by prostaglandins. Increased intrarenal activity of NO in the developing kidney counter-regulates the highly activated renin angiotensin system by modulating the angiotensin II-mediated vasoconstriction of the developing renal vasculature, the angiotensin II effects on GFR, as well as renin release. Localization studies demonstrate that NO acts on neonatal RBF and stabilization of GFR through an intrarenal distribution of the synthesizing enzyme, nitric oxide synthase, that is different from that of the adult. The developing kidney is dependent on NO to maintain RBF and GFR during periods of hypoxemia, protecting against renal injury, such as acute renal failure. In summary, NO is vital in the developing kidney to maintain normal physiological function and to protect the immature kidney during pathophysiological stress.
Animals, Glomerular Filtration Rate/physiology, Humans, Kidney/growth & development, Kidney/physiology, Nitric Oxide/physiology, Renal Circulation/physiology
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