Extracellular K(+) homeostasis has been explained by feedback mechanisms in which changes in extracellular K(+) concentration drive renal K(+) excretion directly or indirectly via stimulating aldosterone secretion. However, this cannot explain meal-induced kaliuresis, which often occurs without increases in plasma K(+) or aldosterone concentrations. Recent studies have produced evidence supporting a feedforward control in which gut sensing of dietary K(+) increases renal K(+) excretion (and extrarenal K(+) uptake) independent of plasma K(+) concentrations, namely, a gut factor. This review focuses on these new findings and discusses the role of gut factor in acute and chronic regulation of extracellular K(+) as well as in the beneficial effects of high K(+) intake on the cardiovascular system.
Keywords: Potassium excretion; feedback control; feedforward control; potassium adaptation; potassium balance.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.