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New View on Renal Function of Regulating Salt

2012-09-09 17:41

We all know that kidney is a vital organ of human being and it has the functions of excreting metabolic wastes and toxins, balancing water and electrolytes (sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, etc) as well as endocrine function. However the mechanism of how kidney regulate water, electrolytes and acid-base balance is not yet completely understood.

Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center and the University of Kiel have gained a new insight on this complex regulation process by detecting a gene in the kidneys. They have found that the claudin-10 gene (belongs to a family of proteins that connect the epithelial cells) plays a vital role in the re-absorption of sodium chloride.

Animal tests on mice show that if the the claudin-10 gene is damaged, the re-absorption of salt will be impaired and that of calcium and magnesium will increase. As a result, there will be elevated level of magnesium in the blood and excessive calcium will deposit in the kidneys and this will finally cause damages to renal structure and functions and lead to various kidney diseases.

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