A numerical model of the renal distal tubule

Am J Physiol. 1999 Jun;276(6):F931-51. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.1999.276.6.F931.


A numerical model of the rat distal tubule was developed to simulate water and solute transport in this nephron segment. This model incorporates the following: 1) Na-Cl cotransporter, K-Cl cotransporter, Na channel, K channel, and Cl channel in the luminal membrane; 2) Na-K-ATPase, K channel, and Cl channel in the basolateral membrane; and 3) conductances for Na, K, and Cl in the paracellular pathway. Transport rates were calculated using kinetic equations. Axial heterogeneity was represented by partitioning the model into two subsegments with different sets of model parameters. Model equations derived from the principles of mass conservation and electrical neutrality were solved numerically. Values of the model parameters were adjusted to minimize a penalty function that was devised to quantify the difference between model predictions and experimental results. The developed model could simulate the water and solute transport of the distal tubule in the normal state, as well as in conditions including thiazide or amiloride application and various levels of sodium load and tubular flow rate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorption / drug effects
  • Amiloride / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Benzothiadiazines
  • Diffusion
  • Diuretics
  • Kidney Tubules, Distal / drug effects
  • Kidney Tubules, Distal / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Rats
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • Benzothiadiazines
  • Diuretics
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors
  • Amiloride
  • Sodium