Tetrodotoxin has been reported to cause prolonged systemic hypotension without resultant ischemic damage. We tested its ability to protect the kidney during 60 minutes of warm ischemia in uninephrectomized rats. Protection was observed when tetrodotoxin was given intravenously at two μg./kg. and four μg./kg. as assessed by serial plasma blood urea nitrogen and creatinine measurements over two weeks. Tetrodotoxin was protective when given immediately before or immediately after the ischemic period. The renal protection of tetrodotoxin was not due to its effects on renal nerves as renal denervation did not protect the kidney from the ischemic damage. The renal protective effects of four μg. tetrodotoxin/kg. were similar to those of four mg. captopril/kg. but the combination of the two was paradoxically without effect. We tested whether tetrodotoxin and captopril chemically antagonized each other, but in the presence of tetrodotoxin, captopril was still a potent inhibitor of the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II. These results indicate that tetrodotoxin could be useful in elucidating the sequence of events associated with ischemic-reperfusion renal injury and in identifying ways of preserving renal function during renal surgery.
- kidney transplantation
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