Vanadium: chemistry and the kidney

Fed Proc. 1983 Oct;42(13):2969-73.


Vanadium (V), a metallic element of the first transition series, is widely distributed in the environment. Although an essential trace element in higher animals, chronic exposure to V is of concern because of its increased concentration near industrial operations, its occurrence in the ash of combustion products of petroleum and coal, and its subsequent biomagnification in the environment. V is found in trace amounts in both terrestrial and aquatic animals and in solution can form inorganic orthovanadate oxyanions that, if absorbed, are eliminated primarily by the kidneys. Because V is often found concentrated in renal tissue to the largest extent in the body, the kidneys may represent a major site of action. Moreover, V in the vanadate configuration increases the urinary excretion of solutes and water in the rat, and inhibits renal organic ion accumulation and renal Na+, K+-ATPase in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, as a nutritionally required element, V may play a regulatory role in salt and water excretion by modification of the Na+ pump in the kidney.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Diuresis / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Ligands
  • Natriuresis / drug effects
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Vanadates
  • Vanadium / metabolism
  • Vanadium / pharmacology
  • Vanadium / toxicity*


  • Ligands
  • Vanadium
  • Vanadates
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase