The effect of insulin on renal sodium metabolism. A review with clinical implications

Diabetologia. 1981 Sep;21(3):165-71. doi: 10.1007/BF00252649.


Data are discussed which demonstrate that insulin plays an important role in sodium metabolism. The primary action of insulin on sodium balance is exerted on the kidney. Increases in plasma insulin concentration within the physiological range stimulate sodium reabsorption by the distal nephron segments and this effect is independent of changes in circulating metabolites or other hormones. Several clinical situations are reviewed: sodium wasting in poorly controlled diabetics, natriuresis of starvation, anti-natriuresis of refeeding and hypertension of obesity, in which insulin-mediated changes in sodium balance have been shown to play an important pathophysiological role.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Dogs
  • Eating
  • Fasting
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Insulin / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Sodium / metabolism*


  • Insulin
  • Sodium