High affinity renal [3H]flunitrazepam binding: Characterization, localization, and alteration in hypertension

John W. Regan, Henry I. Yamamura, Shizuo Yamada, William R. Roeske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The binding of [3H]flunitrazepam was studied in membranes prepared from the kidney and cerebral cortex of unilaterally nephrectomized rats made hypertensive by simultaneous deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) and NaCl administration. A significant 35-43% increase in the number of [3H]flunitrazepam binding sites (Bmax) was found in the renal membranes prepared from the hypertensive rats; there was no change in the density of binding sites in the membranes obtained from the cerebral cortex. The Kd of [3H]flunitrazepam binding did not change either in the renal or in the cerebral membranes (∼ 12 nM in the kidney and ∼2.0 nM in the brain). Drug specificity studies with renal membranes showed that the inhibition of [3H]flunitrazepam binding by various benzodiazepines did not jibe with their pharmacologic potency as anxiolytic agents. An intrarenal distribution of specific [3H]flunitrazepam binding was found in the bovine kidney; specific binding was greatest in the outer cortex and virtually absent in the medulla, the minor calyx and the renal artery. The evidence that the renal benzodiazepine binding site is of high affinity, is specific, has a unique distribution, and is regulated during hypertension suggests that it may be associated with an important pathophysiologic structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-998
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 2 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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