Young female unilaterally nephrectomized, salt-loaded, Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with 200 μg or 1 mg 18-hydroxy-deoxycorticosterone-21-acetate (18-OH-DOCA) in oil daily, and a group of kidney-intact animals on a normal salt intake was given 2 mg/day. The hormone was not found to increase saline consumption, increase urinary potassium or kallikrein excretion, or depress serum renin activity or potassium concentration. Slight hypertension did develop at 3 weeks in salt-loaded rats on the lowest dose, but this was neither increased by higher dosage or longer treatment, nor reflected by increased heart or kidney weight. The effect of 40-mg pellet implantation of DOCA and 18-OH-DOCA was then compared in unilaterally nephrectomized, salt-loaded, female Fischer 344 rats. The former caused increased saline consumption, hypertension, hypokalemia, and heart and kidney enlargement, whereas 18-OH-DOCA did not. Thus, the hypertensogenic potency of 18-OH-DOCA is, at best, a reflection of its known, very weak, mineralocorticoid activity.
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