PubMed 21454253

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir1.1

Title: Conservation of Na+ versus K+ by the rat cortical collecting duct.

Authors: Gustavo Frindt, Veronique Houde, Lawrence G Palmer

Journal, date & volume: , 2011 Mar 30 , ,

PubMed link:

Regulation of transport by principal cells of the distal nephron contributes to maintenance of Na(+) and K(+) homeostasis. To assess which of these ions is given a higher priority by these cells, we investigated the upregulation of epithelial Na(+) channels (ENaC) in the rat cortical collecting duct (CCD) during Na depletion with and without simultaneous K depletion. ENaC activity, assessed as whole cell amiloride-sensitive current in split-open tubules, was 260 ± 40 pA/cell in K-repleted but virtually undetectable (3 ± 1 pA/cell) in K-depleted animals. This difference was confirmed biochemically by the reduced amounts of the cleaved forms of both the α-ENaC and γ-ENaC subunits measured in immunoblots. In contrast, in K-depleted rats, simultaneously reducing Na intake did not affect the activity of ROMK channels, assessed as tertiapin-Q-sensitive whole cell currents, in the CCDs. The lack of Na current in K-depleted animals was the result of reduced levels of aldosterone in plasma, rather than a reduced sensitivity to the hormone. However, rats on a low-Na, low-K diet for 1 wk did not excrete more Na than those on a low-Na, control-K diet for the same period of time. Immunoblot analysis indicated increased levels of the thiazide-sensitive NaCl cotransporter and the apical Na-H exchanger NHE3. This suggests that with reduced K intake, Na balance is maintained despite reduced aldosterone and Na(+) channel activity by upregulation of Na(+) transport in upstream segments. Under these conditions, Na(+) transport by the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron is reduced, despite the low-Na intake to minimize K(+) secretion and urinary K losses.