Chronic blood pressure effects of bufalin, a sodium-potassium atpase inhibitor, in rats

Motilal B. Pamnani*, Shanwan Chen, Christina M. Yuan, Francis J. Haddy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Endogenous Na<SP>&plus;</SP>,K<SP>&plus;</SP>-ATPase inhibitors may have role in the mechanism of low-renin hypertension. Two such compounds have been characterized: Ouabain from human plasma and resibufogenin from toad plasma. Previously, we examined the acute effects of ouabain and bufalin (which has the same structure as resibufogenin except for one H<SP>&plus;</SP>) in normal rats. Bufalin raised blood pressure, but ouabain had little effect. In contrast, given chronically, ouabain substantially increased blood pressure in normal rats and 70&percnt; reduced renal mass rats on a salt-free diet. We have now examined the chronic effects of bufalin in rats. Normal rats received 14.8 μg/kg per day bufalin or an equimolar dose of ouabain intraperitoneally for 6 weeks; 70&percnt; reduced renal mass rats also received 14.8 μg/kg per day bufalin. Another group of normal rats received 29.6 μg/kg per day bufalin intraperitoneally for 6 weeks. Respective control animals received vehicle. In contrast to ouabain, blood pressure did not increase in normal rats receiving the 14.8 μg dose of bufalin. However, normal rats receiving 29.6 μg bufalin and 70&percnt; reduced renal mass rats receiving 14.8 μg bufalin developed significant increases in blood pressure. Increases in blood pressure were associated with decreases in myocardial Na<SP>&plus;</SP>,K<SP>&plus;</SP>-ATPase activity and correlated with increased plasma Na<SP>&plus;</SP>, K<SP>&plus;</SP>-ATPase inhibitory activity. Thus, although bufalin is a more potent pressor agent than ouabain when both agents are given acutely, ouabain is at least as potent a vasopressor agent as bufalin when given chronically. Thus, both are pressor agents, more so in the presence of reduced renal mass, when given chronically in the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)I-106-I-109
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Bufanolides
  • K-ATPase
  • Na
  • Ouabain
  • Sodium-potassium pump


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