Recently, chronic hyponatremia, even mild, has shown to be associated with poor quality of life and high mortality. The mechanism by which hyponatremia contributes to those symptoms, however, remains to be elucidated. Syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) is a primary cause of hyponatremia. Appropriate animal models are crucial for investigating the pathophysiology of SIADH. A rat model of SIADH has been generally used and mouse models have been rarely used. In this study, we developed a mouse model of chronic SIADH in which stable and sustained hyponatremia occurred after 3-week continuous infusion of the vasopressin V2 receptor agonist 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (dDAVP) and liquid diet feeding to produce chronic water loading. Weight gain in chronic SIADH mice at week 2 and 3 after starting dDAVP injection was similar to that of control mice, suggesting that the animals adapted to chronic hyponatremia and grew up normally. AQP2 expression in the kidney, which reflects the renal action of vasopressin, was decreased in dDAVP-infused water-loaded mice as compared with control mice that received the same dDAVP infusion but were fed pelleted chow. These results suggest that “vasopressin escape” occurred, which is an important process for limiting potentially fatal severe hyponatremia. Behavioral analyses using the contextual and cued fear conditioning test and T-maze test demonstrated cognitive impairment, especially working memory impairment, in chronic SIADH mice, which was partially restored after correcting hyponatremia. Our results suggest that vasopressin escape occurred in chronic SIADH mice and that chronic hyponatremia contributed to their memory impairment.
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