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J Endocrinol. 2001 Aug;170(2):441-50.

Effect of estrogen on calcium and sodium transport by the nephron luminal membranes.

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Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, Research Center and University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Estrogens are widely used for contraception and osteoporosis prevention. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 17 beta-estradiol on calcium (Ca(2+)) transport by the nephron luminal membranes, independently of any other Ca(2+)-regulating hormones. Proximal and distal tubules of rabbit kidneys were incubated with 17 beta-estradiol or the carrier for various periods of time, and the luminal membranes of these tubules were purified and vesiculated. Ca(2+) uptake by membrane vesicles was measured using the Millipore filtration technique. Incubation of proximal tubules with the hormone did not influence Ca(2+) uptake by the luminal membranes. In contrast, incubation of distal tubules with 10(-8) M 17 beta-estradiol for 30 min decreased the initial uptake of 0.5 mM Ca(2+) from 0.34+/-0.04 (s.e.m. ) to 0.17+/-0.04 pmol/microg per 5 s (P<0.05). In the presence of 100 mM Na(+), 0.5 mM Ca(2+) uptake was strongly diminished and the effect of 17 beta-estradiol disappeared (0.17+/-0.01 and 0.21+/-0.07 pmol/microg per 5 s in vesicles from the control and treated tubules). Direct incubation of the membranes with 17 beta-estradiol, however, failed to show any influence of the hormone on Ca(2+) transport. The action of 17 beta-estradiol was dose-dependent, with a half-maximal effect at approximately 10(-9) M. Ca(2+) uptake by the distal tubule membranes presents dual kinetics. 17 beta-Estradiol decreased the V(max) value of the high-affinity component from 0.42+/-0.02 to 0.31+/-0.03 pmol/microg per 10 s (P<0.02). In contrast with the effect of the hormone on Ca(2+) transport, estradiol increased Na(+) uptake by both the proximal and distal tubule luminal membranes. In conclusion, incubation of proximal and distal tubules with estrogen decreases Ca(2+) reabsorption by the high-affinity Ca(2+) channels of the distal luminal membranes, and enhances Na(+) transport by the membranes from proximal and distal nephrons.

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