Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 399, Issue 2, pp 147–151 | Cite as

Short-term effects of aldosterone and dexamethasone on Na−K-ATPase along the rabbit nephron

  • G. El Mernissi
  • A. Doucet
Transport Processes, Metabolism and Endocrinology Kidney, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Exocrine Glands (B)


Both glucocorticoids and mineralcorticoids stimulate the renal Na−K-ATPase. However, the exact site of their respective action is not precisely determined and it is still unknown wheter these effects are cumulative or not.

We studied the effects of dexamethasone and aldosterone on Na−K-ATPase activity in microdissected nephron segments from adrenalectomized rabbits. In proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) the enzyme activity was altered neither by adrenalectomy nor by any steroid replacement. In the medullary thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (MAL) and the distal convoluted tubule (DCT), Na−K-ATPase activity decreased by 40% after adrenalectomy, and was restored to control level three hours after administration of dexamethasone (100 μg/kg) but not by aldosterone (up to 10 μg/kg). In the cortical (CCT) and medullary (MCT) collecting tubule the enzyme activity decreased by 75% after adrenalcetomy but in contrast with the MAL and the DCT, these two segments were sensitive to both dexamethasone (100 μg/kg) and aldosterone (10 μg/kg) and recovered their activities within 3 h after the hormone injection. These effects were not additive. Spironolactone (100 μg/kg) abolished the action of each of the two hormones on the CCT and MCT. In contrast, spironolactone did not curtail the effect of dexamethasone on MAL and DCT. These results indicate that whereas glucocorticoid action is localized in MAL, DCT, CCT and MCT, the mineralocorticoid effect is restricted to the CCT and MCT exclusively. They also suggest that, in the CCT and MCT, the two types of hormones share the same receptors.

Key words

Adrenalectomized rabbits Kidney microdissection Mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid effects Spironolactone 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. El Mernissi
    • 1
  • A. Doucet
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie CellulaireCollège de FranceParis Cedex 05France

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