Effects of pH on potassium: new explanations for old observations

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Nov;22(11):1981-9. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011040414. Epub 2011 Oct 6.


Maintenance of extracellular K(+) concentration within a narrow range is vital for numerous cell functions, particularly electrical excitability of heart and muscle. Potassium homeostasis during intermittent ingestion of K(+) involves rapid redistribution of K(+) into the intracellular space to minimize increases in extracellular K(+) concentration, and ultimate elimination of the K(+) load by renal excretion. Recent years have seen great progress in identifying the transporters and channels involved in renal and extrarenal K(+) homeostasis. Here we apply these advances in molecular physiology to understand how acid-base disturbances affect serum potassium.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / physiology*
  • Acidosis / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hyperkalemia / physiopathology
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Potassium / blood
  • Potassium / physiology*
  • Potassium / urine
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers / physiology
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / physiology


  • Potassium Channels
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • Potassium