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  • Transport Processes, Metabolism and Endocrinology; Kidney, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Exocrine Glands
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Effects of human calcitonin on water and electrolyte movements in rat juxtamedullary nephrons: inhibition of medullary K recycling

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The effects of synthetic human calcitonin (HCT) on water and electrolyte deliveries to the thin limbs of Henle's loop of juxtamedullary nephrons were investigated by micropuncture in the rat. To avoid undesirable interference with exogenous calcitonin, experiments were performed in hormone-deprived rats with reduced circulating calcitonin, antidiuretic hormone, parathyroid hormone and glucagon, all four of which stimulate the adenylate-cyclase activity in the thick ascending limb and the distal tubule. Administration of HCT (1.0 mU/min·100 g body wt) to such rats significantly reduced the urinary fractional excretion rate of water, Mg, Ca and K. At the tip of the long-looped nephrons, the fractional delivery of water diminished in the presence of HCT, although the glomerular filtration rate of these nephrons was unaltered. Simultaneously, the loop fluid osmolality rose significantly. HCT, however, did not alter the fraction of total filtered solutes remaining in the thin limbs, nor the NaCl fractional delivery. As previously observed in this laboratory with dDAVP, the reduced fractional delivery of water at the hairpin turn was accompanied by a decrease in Mg and Ca deliveries in rats given HCT, indicating that the handling of these two ions along the descending limb may be linked in part to the water movements in this nephron segment. The fractional deliveries of K at the hairpin turn and in urine were significantly correlated, and both decreased in the presence of HCT. Since, as shown previously, HCT reduces the net addition of K along the superfical distal tubule, it is concluded that calcitonin inhibits the medullary recycling of K between the nephron terminal segments and the loop of Henle of juxtamedullary nephrons.

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Correspondence to Christian de Rouffignac.

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Elalouf, J., Roinel, N., de Rouffignac, C. et al. Effects of human calcitonin on water and electrolyte movements in rat juxtamedullary nephrons: inhibition of medullary K recycling. Pflugers Arch. 406, 502–508 (1986).

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Key words

  • Calcitonin
  • Urinary concentrating mechanism
  • Magnesium and calcium
  • Electron probe