An increase in plasma renin activity was demonstrated in plasma from normal subjects and most patients with essential hypertension after prolonged storage of the plasma at -20 degrees C. No change in renin substrate concentration was observed after storage for 12 months, and the rate of angiotensin generation during incubation with a fixed amount of added human renin was not increased. It therefore seems unlikely that the observed increase in renin activity was due to changes in plasma activators or inhibitors. The data are consistent with the activation of an inactive form of renin, tentatively called "prorenin" in normal subjects averaged from 1 to 2 ng/ml/hr, and did not change during sodium deprivation. However, three of four patients studied who had low-renin essential hypertension secreted abnormally large amounts of "prorenin" in response to sodium depletion. In these patients, subsequent sodium administration was associated with a return of "prorenin" to baseline levels.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association