Evidence for gut factor in K+ homeostasis

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Aug;293(2):F541-7. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00427.2006. Epub 2007 May 23.


We tested the hypothesis that K(+) intake is sensed by putative K(+) sensors in the splanchnic areas, and renal K(+) handling is regulated by this signal. K(+) was infused for 2 h into overnight-fasted rats via the jugular vein (systemic infusion), hepatic portal vein (intraportal infusion), or stomach (intragastric infusion) (n = 5 each), and plasma K(+) concentration ([K(+)]) and renal K(+) excretion were measured during the 2-h preinfusion, 2-h K(+) infusion, and 3-h washout periods. During systemic K(+) infusion, plasma [K(+)] increased by approximately 1.3 mM (P < 0.05), and, on cessation of the K(+) infusion, plasma [K(+)] fell to the preinfusion level within 1-2 h. Renal K(+) excretion changed in proportion to the changes in plasma [K(+)]. During intraportal or intragastric K(+) infusion, plasma [K(+)] and renal K(+) excretion profiles were similar to those with systemic infusion. The effects of K(+) infusions via the different routes (n = 5 or 6 each) were also studied during simultaneous feeding of overnight-fasted rats with a K(+)-deficient diet. During the meal, intraportal infusion resulted in increases in plasma [K(+)] similar to those with the systemic K(+) infusion, while intragastric K(+) infusion did not significantly increase plasma [K(+)]. Thus, when the intragastric K(+) infusion was combined with a meal, there was marked enhancement of clearance of the K(+) infused, which was associated with an apparent increase in renal efficiency of K(+) excretion. These data suggest that there may be a gut factor that enhances renal efficiency of K(+) excretion during meal (or dietary K(+)) intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*
  • Oligopeptides / physiology*
  • Portal Vein
  • Potassium / blood
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Potassium / urine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Neuropeptides
  • Oligopeptides
  • proctolin
  • Glucose
  • Potassium