1. Chronic hypoxic rats are always polycythaemic. It is possible that an increase in packed cell volume may enhance erythrocyte trapping with a consequent increase in renal damage after renal ischaemia. These experiments were designed to assess renal functional changes after renal arterial occlusion in chronic hypoxic rats.
2. Chronic hypoxic rats were prepared by exposure (15h/day) to an altitude chamber (5486 m) for 4 weeks.
3. After 45 min of left renal arterial occlusion, there were significant decreases in the excretion of potassium, p-aminohippurate and inulin and in the p-aminohippurate extraction ratio in 12 sea level ischaemic insulted kidneys. In 12 chronic hypoxic rats, the same parameters were changed after left renal ischaemia but only the p-aminohippurate ratio was significantly altered.
4. Administrations of 1 or 5 mg/kg phosphoramidon did not cause any significant improvement in the measured renal parameters in both kidneys and in both groups of rats after ischaemia.
5. In the second experiment, the rats were challenged by rapid infusion of 10 ml of saline intravenously, and urine was collected for 90 min from each ureter. Four hours after left renal arterial occlusion, the insulted kidney showed increased water and sodium excretion in both sea level and chronic hypoxic rats. However, 24 h after left renal ischaemia, the responses of sea level and chronic hypoxic rats were different. Urinary excretion was significantly reduced in sea level rats, but was almost normal in chronic hypoxic rats.
6. This report suggests that some beneficial factors after chronic hypoxia might play important roles in reducing the damage after renal ischaemia.