Total and active renin concentrations (TRC and ARC) were determined in pregnant women and in women on estrogen-containing oral contraceptives to study the variation of plasma renin forms in pregnancy. TRC was already elevated in the first trimester. After that TRC increased consistently reaching the maximum in the third trimester. The ratio of inactive renin concentrations (IRC) to TRC was between 20 and 30% throughout gestation. Therefore, it was supposed that the development of the placenta or the enlargement of the uterus do not affect the ratio of IRC to TRC too much. In women on oral contraceptives in whom plasma renin activity was increased due to elevation of renin substrate, the ratio of IRC to TRC was almost the same as that in normal controls. From these results, it was suggested that the development of the placenta and the enlargement of the uterus do not play an important role in the variation of plasma renin forms, although remarkable changes are observed in the renin substrate and total amounts of renin in pregnancy.
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