Sodium-potassium-adenosinetriphosphatase-dependent sodium transport in the kidney: hormonal control

Physiol Rev. 2001 Jan;81(1):345-418. doi: 10.1152/physrev.2001.81.1.345.


Tubular reabsorption of filtered sodium is quantitatively the main contribution of kidneys to salt and water homeostasis. The transcellular reabsorption of sodium proceeds by a two-step mechanism: Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase-energized basolateral active extrusion of sodium permits passive apical entry through various sodium transport systems. In the past 15 years, most of the renal sodium transport systems (Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase, channels, cotransporters, and exchangers) have been characterized at a molecular level. Coupled to the methods developed during the 1965-1985 decades to circumvent kidney heterogeneity and analyze sodium transport at the level of single nephron segments, cloning of the transporters allowed us to move our understanding of hormone regulation of sodium transport from a cellular to a molecular level. The main purpose of this review is to analyze how molecular events at the transporter level account for the physiological changes in tubular handling of sodium promoted by hormones. In recent years, it also became obvious that intracellular signaling pathways interacted with each other, leading to synergisms or antagonisms. A second aim of this review is therefore to analyze the integrated network of signaling pathways underlying hormone action. Given the central role of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase in sodium reabsorption, the first part of this review focuses on its structural and functional properties, with a special mention of the specificity of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase expressed in renal tubule. In a second part, the general mechanisms of hormone signaling are briefly introduced before a more detailed discussion of the nephron segment-specific expression of hormone receptors and signaling pathways. The three following parts integrate the molecular and physiological aspects of the hormonal regulation of sodium transport processes in three nephron segments: the proximal tubule, the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop, and the collecting duct.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism
  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Amines / metabolism
  • Biogenic Amines / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Hormones / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Ion Transport / drug effects
  • Ion Transport / physiology*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / drug effects
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism
  • Mammals
  • Nephrons / drug effects
  • Nephrons / metabolism
  • Parathyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Angiotensin II
  • Sodium
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • Potassium