Elevated Cerebrospinal Fluid Sodium in Hypertensive Human Subjects with a Family History of Alzheimer’s Disease

Lucas Souza, Fatima Trebak, Veena Kumar, Ryousuke Satou, Patrick G. Kehoe, Wei Yang, Whitney Wharton, Yumei Feng Earley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


High salt (sodium) intake leads to the development of hypertension despite the fact that plasma sodium concentration ([Na+]) is usually normal in hypertensive human patients. Increased CSF sodium contributes to elevated sympathetic activity and high blood pressure (BP) in rodent models of hypertension. However, whether there is an increased accumulation of sodium in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of humans with chronic hypertension is not well defined. Here, we investigated CSF [Na+] in samples from hypertensive and normotensive human subjects with family history of Alzheimer’s disease collected in a clinical trial, as spinal tap is not a routine clinical procedure for hypertensive patients. The [Na+] and osmolality in plasma and CSF were measured using flame photometry. Daytime ambulatory BP was monitored while individuals were awake. Participants were deidentified and data were analyzed in conjunction with a retrospective analysis of patient history and diagnosis. We found that CSF [Na+] was significantly higher in participants with high BP compared with normotensive participants; there was no difference in plasma [Na+], or plasma and CSF osmolality between groups. Subsequent multiple linear regression analyses controlling for age, sex, race, and body mass index revealed a significant positive correlation between CSF [Na+] and BP, but showed no correlation between plasma [Na+] and BP. In sum, CSF [Na+] was higher in chronic hypertensive individuals and may play a key role in the pathogenesis of human hypertension. Collectively, our findings provide evidence for the clinical significance of CSF [Na+] in chronic hypertension in humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number3
Early online date19 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Population Health Science Institute


  • Hypertension
  • sodium
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • osmolality


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