We aimed to investigate whether high salt intake affects bladder function via epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) by using Dahl salt-resistant (DR) and salt-sensitive (DS) rats. Bladder weight of DR + high-salt diet (HS, 8% NaCl) and DS + HS groups were significantly higher than those of DR + normal-salt diet (NS, 0.3% NaCl) and DS + NS groups after one week treatment. We thereafter used only DR + HS and DS + HS group. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly higher in DS + HS group than in DR + HS group after the treatment period. Cystometrogram showed the intercontraction intervals (ICI) were significantly shorter in DS + HS group than in DR + HS group during infusion of saline. Subsequent infusion of amiloride significantly prolonged ICI in DS + HS group, while no intra-group difference in ICI was observed in DR + HS group. No intra- or inter-group differences in maximum intravesical pressure were observed. Protein expression levels of ENaCα in the bladder were significantly higher in DS + HS group than in DR + HS group. ENaCα protein was localized at bladder epithelium in both groups. In conclusion, high salt intake is considered to cause urinary storage dysfunction via upregulation of ENaC in the bladder epithelium with salt-sensitive hypertension, suggesting that ENaC might be a candidate for therapeutic target for urinary storage dysfunction.
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