Cardiovascular drugs and therapy / sponsored by the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy vol:4 Suppl 2 pages:321-33
The intraerythrocyte sodium concentration is increased in the erythrocytes of Zaïrean Bantu with untreated hypertension, while the red blood cell potassium is not different from that of normotensive subjects. Compared with whites, normotensive healthy blacks have a higher intracellular concentration of sodium due to a depressed activity of the sodium-potassium pump. Normotensive healthy males with a positive familial background of hypertension display higher erythrocyte sodium and lower cotransport activity. None of the two measurements offer a clear-cut genetic marker of essential hypertension. In healthy women, the erythrocyte sodium concentration is lowered during the luteal as compared with the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. This variability explains the difference observed between men and women. A low-sodium diet stimulates the activity of the sodium-potassium ATPase pump, which leads to a decrease in the erythrocyte sodium concentration. Both alterations reverse only slowly during sodium repletion. It is therefore suggested that an adequate matching for race, sex, stage of the menstrual cycle (in women), family history of hypertension, and the amount of sodium in the diet should be a prerequisite for valid conclusions when interpreting the erythrocyte concentration and fluxes of sodium.