Fludrocortisone stimulates erythropoietin production in the intercalated cells of the collecting ducts

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Sep 18;503(4):3121-3127. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.08.102. Epub 2018 Aug 23.


Erythropoietin has been thought to be secreted to plasma soon after the production because of the difficulty of Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. We established the new methods of Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Using the new methods, we investigated the effects of aldosterone and fludrocortisone, an analogue of aldosterone on erythropoietin mRNA and protein production by the kidneys. Aldosterone stimulated Epo and HIF2α mRNA expressions in tubule suspensions and microdissected medullary thick ascending limbs and outer medullary collecting ducts. Western blot analysis showed a recombinant erythropoietin at 34-45 kDa and kidney erythropoietin at 36-40 and 42 kDa, both of which shifted to 22 kDa by deglycosylation. Erythropoietin protein expression was observed in the nephrons but not in the interstitial cells in control condition. Fludrocortisone stimulated erythropoietin mRNA and protein expressions in the distal nephrons, particularly in the intercalated cells of the collecting ducts. These data show that erythropoietin is produced by the nephrons by the regulation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and not by the renal interstitial cells in control condition.

Keywords: Collecting ducts; Deglycosylation; Erythropoietin; Hypoxia; Interstitial cells; Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Erythropoietin / genetics
  • Erythropoietin / metabolism*
  • Fludrocortisone / metabolism*
  • Glycosylation
  • Kidney Tubules, Collecting / cytology
  • Kidney Tubules, Collecting / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nephrons / cytology
  • Nephrons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Renin-Angiotensin System
  • Up-Regulation


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Erythropoietin
  • Aldosterone
  • Fludrocortisone