, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 165–171 | Cite as

The effect of insulin on renal sodium metabolism

A review with clinical implications
  • R. A. DeFronzo
Review Articles


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.

Key words

Insulin sodium kidney diabetes obesity hypertension 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. DeFronzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Divisions of Endocrine-Metabolism and NephrologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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