Effect of potassium on renal acidification and acid-base homeostasis

Semin Nephrol. 1987 Sep;7(3):263-73.


In summary, altered potassium homeostasis can modify bicarbonate reabsorption by the proximal tubule and alter acidification by the distal nephron both by affecting proton transport in a primary fashion and by modifying renal ammonia production. With physiologic variations in dietary K+ intake, these processes may serve to sustain concurrent potassium and acid-base homeostasis. However, with pathologic degrees of potassium depletion and hyperkalemia, metabolic alkalosis and acidosis, respectively, can result.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / drug effects*
  • Alkalosis / metabolism
  • Ammonia / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bicarbonates / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperkalemia / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Potassium / pharmacology*
  • Potassium Deficiency / metabolism


  • Bicarbonates
  • Ammonia
  • Potassium