Presystemic influences on thirst, salt appetite, and vasopressin secretion in the hypovolemic rat

Carrie A. Smith, Kathleen S. Curtis, James C. Smith, Edward M. Stricker

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15 Scopus citations


The present studies investigated the influence of presystemic signals on the control of thirst, salt appetite, and vasopressin (VP) secretion in rats during nonhypotensive hypovolemia. Rats were injected with 30% polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution, deprived of food and water overnight, and then allowed to drink water, 0.15 M NaCl, or 0.30 M NaCl. The PEG treatment, which produced 30-40% plasma volume deficits, elicited rapid intakes in an initial bout of drinking, but rats consumed much more 0.15 M NaCl than water or 0.30 M NaCl. In considering why drinking stopped sooner when water or concentrated saline was ingested, it seemed relevant that little or no change in systemic plasma Na + concentration was observed during the initial bouts and that the partial repair of hypovolemia was comparable, regardless of which fluid was consumed. In rats that drank 0.15 M NaCl, gastric emptying was fastest and the combined volume of ingested fluid in the stomach and small intestine was largest. These and other observations are consistent with the hypothesis that fluid ingestion by hypovolemic rats is inhibited by distension of the stomach and proximal small intestine and that movement of dilute or concentrated fluid into the small intestine provides another presystemic signal that inhibits thirst or salt appetite, respectively. On the other hand, an early effect of water or saline consumption on VP secretion in PEG-treated rats was not observed, in contrast to recent findings in dehydrated rats. Thus the controls of fluid ingestion and VP secretion are similar but not identical during hypovolemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R2089-R2099
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Gastric emptying
  • Plasma volume
  • Sodium chloride intake
  • Water intake


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