We assessed blood pressure (BP), body weight, renal hemodynamics, and insulin sensitivity (by euglycemichyperinsulinemic clamp) in nine normoalbuminuric and seven microalbuminuric IDDM patients after 6 days on a low-sodium diet (20 mEq) and after 6 days on a high-sodium diet (250 mEq). In microalbuminuric but not in normoalbuminuric IDDM patients, switching from a low to a high-sodium diet was associated with a significant increase in mean BP (from 92 ± 3 to 101 ± 4 mmHg; P < 0.001) and in body weight (2.91 ± 0.63 vs. 1.47 ± 0.26 kg; P < 0.05). Moreover, under high-sodium conditions, angiotensin II infusion (3 ng · kg−1 · min−1) caused a greater increase in mean BP (14 ± 2 vs. 7.4 ± 1 mmHg; P < 0.05) and a smaller reduction in renal plasma flow (−122 ± 29 vs. −274 ± 41 ml · min−1 · 1.73 m2; P < 0.05) in microalbuminuric than in normoalbuminuric IDDM patients. Under low sodium conditions, aldosterone increments after angiotensin II infusion were lower (P < 0.05) in microalbuminuric than in normoalbuminuric IDDM patients. Insulin-mediated glucose disposal was not affected by sodium dietary content, but it was lower in microalbuminuric (P < 0.05) than in normoalbuminuric IDDM patients. The saltinduced changes in mean BP were related to insulin sensitivity (r = −0.78; P < 0.001). In conclusion, in IDDM patients, microalbuminuria is associated with 1) an increased responsiveness of BP to salt intake and angiotensin II, 2) impaired modulation of renal blood flow, and 3) insulin resistance. Therefore, salt sensitivity in IDDM patients clusters with other factors that are likely to play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy and its cardiovascular complications.

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