α-Ketoglutarate drives electroneutral NaCl reabsorption in intercalated cells by activating a G-protein coupled receptor, Oxgr1

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review describes the recent discoveries about a powerful electroneutral NaCl reabsorption mechanism in intercalated cells, and its regulation by an intrarenal metabolite paracrine, α-ketoglutartate, and the G-protein coupled receptor, Oxgr1.

Recent findings

The distal nephron fine-tunes sodium, chloride, potassium, hydrogen, bicarbonate and water transport to maintain electrolyte homeostasis and blood pressure. Intercalated cells have been traditionally viewed as the professional regulators of acid-base balance, but recent studies reveal that a specific population of intercalated cells, identified by the pendrin-transporter, have a surprising role in the regulation of salt balance. The pendrin-positive intercalated cells (PP-ICs) facilitate electroneutral NaCl reabsorption through the cooperative activation of multitransport protein network. α-Ketoglutartate is synthesized and secreted into the proximal tubule lumen in the combined state of metabolic alkalosis and intravascular volume contraction to activate Oxgr1 in PP-IC, which in turn activates the multitransport protein network to drive salt reabsorption and bicarbonate secretion by these cells.

Summary

Recent studies identify a novel salt transport pathway in intercalated cells that is activated by an intrarenal paracrine system, α-ketoglutartate/Oxgr1. Activation of the paracrine system and transport pathway, particularly during alkalosis and volume contraction, mitigates deleterious salt wasting while restoring acid-base balance.

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