The brain and the kidney--organ cross talk and interactions

Blood Purif. 2008;26(6):526-36. doi: 10.1159/000167800. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


The kidney and the brain play a major role in maintaining normal homeostasis of the extracellular fluid, and as such regulate intracellular volume, by controlling sodium and water balance. However, both hyponatraemic and hypernatraemic states commonly account for acute medical admissions, and also frequently occur during hospital in-patient stays. Both acute and chronic kidney damage can not only affect sodium and water homeostasis, but also the accumulation of uremic toxins; impairs cerebral higher functions and the ability of the brain to adapt to extracellular changes. Acute brain injury, leading to brain stem death, leads to a cytokine storm, inducing inflammation in cadaveric organs used for transplantation, with increased risk of delayed graft function and acute rejection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypernatremia / physiopathology
  • Hyponatremia / physiopathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance*