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Am J Physiol. 1985 Apr;248(4 Pt 2):F459-71.

Ammonia transport in the mammalian kidney.


Ammonia, an important urinary buffer in mammals, is synthesized primarily in the proximal tubules and is transferred to the final urine by a sequence of specialized transport processes. The pathway of ammonia transfer to the urine involves secretion into the proximal tubules, absorption from the loops of Henle, accumulation in the renal medullary interstitium, and secretion into the collecting ducts. Ammonia is transported as NH3 at some nephron sites and as NH+4 at others. In this paper, we discuss the physical basis of NH3 and NH+4 transport in epithelia and then describe ammonia transport mechanisms in individual nephron segments. Information about ammonia transport in individual nephron segments from isolated perfused tubule studies is integrated with data from in vivo studies to obtain an expanded overall model of renal ammonia handling.

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