Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 451, Issue 1, pp 168–175 | Cite as

TRPV4 and the mammalian kidney

  • David M. CohenEmail author
Invited Review


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) was identified as the mammalian homologue of the Caenorhabditis elegans osmosensory channel protein, OSM-9. In mammals, TRPV4 is activated by a variety of stimuli including thermal stress, fatty acid metabolites, and hypotonicity. Two distinct mechanisms have been described through which TRPV4 may be activated by hypotonicity: one involves the Src family of nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinases, whereas a second is mediated via arachidonic acid metabolites. TRPV4 likely plays a role in systemic osmoregulation; accordingly, it is expressed in the blood–brain barrier-deficient osmosensory nuclei of the hypothalamus. TRPV4 is also abundantly expressed in the kidney, and its precisely demarcated distribution along the kidney tubule permits speculation about a physiological role in this tissue. TRPV4-expressing and TRPV4-negative tubule segments co-exist at all levels of the kidney, from the cortex through the inner medulla. It is conceivable that basolaterally expressed TRPV4 transmits signals arising in the interstitium (e.g, changing tonicity) to more-distal tubule segments where “fine-tuning” of the incipient urine takes place.


Anandamide Regulatory Volume Decrease Distal Nephron Kidney Tubule Tubule Segment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the American Heart Association.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Nephrology and HypertensionOregon Health & Science University and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical CenterPortlandUSA

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