1. Alkaline phosphatase, sucrase, Na + , K + -ATPase and Mg 2+ -ATPase specific activities of crude membrane fractions, prepared from duodenal, jejunal, ileal and colonic mucosa, have been estimated in three types of hypertensive rats: the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), the DOCA-saline-treated rat and the renovascular rat (Goldblatt one-kidney, one-clip rat; 1K-1C). Alkaline phosphatase and sucrase specific activities have also been measured in purified jejunal brush-border membranes. 2. When compared with its normotensive age-matched control (WKY rat), the SHR has a lower activity of alkaline phosphatase in duodenal and jejunal crude membrane fractions, whereas a higher activity in colonic Na + , K + -ATPase is recorded. In purified jejunal brush-border membranes, lower alkaline phosphatase activity and higher sucrase activity were found. These differences occur in the young prehypertensive SHR as well as in the adult animal. 3. In the DOCA-treated rat, the only significant alteration in crude membrane fractions is a decreased Mg 2+ -ATPase activity at all regions of intestinal mucosa. In purified jejunal brush-border membranes both alkaline phosphatase and sucrase activities are increased at 4 or 7 weeks but especially at 13 weeks of hypertension. 4. In the 1K-1C rat, no significant modification appears in crude membrane fractions or in purified jejunal brush-border membranes, but a decrease in alkaline phosphatase and in sucrase activities is probable afer 13 weeks of hypertension. 5. Since alterations of the intestinal enzymes are different in the three types of hypertensive rats it is concluded that the changes are not secondary to the hypertension condition. In the SHR, these alterations are present in the young prehypertensive animal. Abnormalities of intestinal function may be implicated in the origin of genetic hypertension. 6. All recorded alterations represent 25-50% variations from control values. They indicate disturbances of intestinal ion transport in the three types of hypertensive animals.
1. Wistar female rats were made hypertensive by applying a silver clip to the left renal artery and removing the right kidney. In aortas, the proliferation fraction of smooth muscle cells, DNA synthesis and wet weight have been correlated with the blood pressure increase subsequent to the operation. 2. A wave of proliferation of smooth muscle cells in the aortic media is triggered immediately after the highest increased rate of blood pressure. When blood pressure stabilizes at high values, the metabolism of nucleic acid within the aortic media resumes its normal level but the arterial changes previously established persist. 3. The sequence of pathological events responsible for these changes could be: increment of blood pressure; increase in wall stress; proliferation of smooth muscle cells; thickening of arterial wall; correction of the wall stress; end of proliferation. 4. The consequence of this early proliferation of aortic smooth muscle cells is not clear but it is probably one of the mechanisms through which high blood pressure is sustained. It can also participate in atherogenesis, being in this way one of the bases of the well-known relationship between hypertension and atherosclerosis.