Glucocorticoids mediate a decrease in AVP-regulated urea transporter in diabetic rat inner medulla

Am J Physiol. 1997 Dec;273(6):F949-53. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.1997.273.6.F949.


Providing glucocorticoids to adrenalectomized (Adx) rats results in downregulation of the vasopressin (AVP)-regulated urea transporter (VRUT) in the renal inner medullary (IM) tip. To examine the physiological relevance of this response, we studied rats with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus induced by streptozotocin (STZ), since these rats have increased corticosterone production and urea excretion. We measured VRUT protein in extracts from the IM tip or base of pair-fed control and diabetic rats by Western analysis using an antibody to rat VRUT. In the IM tip, VRUT was significantly reduced by 39% in diabetic compared with control rats. In the IM base, there was no significant difference between diabetic and control rats. To determine whether the decrease in VRUT in the IM tip was mediated by glucocorticoids, the experiment was repeated using the following three groups of rats: 1) Adx alone, 2) Adx + STZ, and 3) Adx + STZ + replacement with a physiological dose of glucocorticoid. There was no significant difference in VRUT between Adx and Adx + STZ rats. However, VRUT was significantly reduced by 32% in the IM tip of glucocorticoid-treated Adx + STZ rats compared with control Adx + STZ rats. We conclude that glucocorticoids regulate the abundance of VRUT protein independently of insulin in diabetic rats.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenalectomy*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology*
  • Kidney Medulla / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Urea / metabolism
  • Vasopressins / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • urea transporter
  • Vasopressins
  • Dexamethasone
  • Urea