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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2004 Jan;13(1):59-65.

Revisiting sodium and water reabsorption with functional genomics tools.

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Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.



The kidney plays an essential role in maintaining sodium and water balance, thereby controlling the volume and osmolarity of the extracellular body fluids, the blood volume and the blood pressure. The final adjustment of sodium and water reabsorption in the kidney takes place in cells of the distal part of the nephron in which a set of apical and basolateral transporters participate in vectorial sodium and water transport from the tubular lumen to the interstitium and, finally, to the general circulation. According to a current model, the activity and/or cell-surface expression of these transporters is/are under the control of a gene network composed of the hormonally regulated, as well as constitutively expressed, genes. It is proposed that this gene network may include new candidate genes for salt- and water-losing syndromes and for salt-sensitive hypertension. A new generation of functional genomics techniques have recently been applied to the characterization of this gene network. The purpose of this review is to summarize these studies and to discuss the potential of the different techniques for characterization of the renal transcriptome.


Recently, DNA microarrays and serial analysis of gene expression have been applied to characterize the kidney transcriptome in different in-vivo and in-vitro models. In these studies, a set of new interesting genes potentially involved in the regulation of sodium and water reabsorption by the kidney have been identified and are currently under detailed investigation.


Characterization of the kidney transcriptome is greatly expanding our knowledge of the gene networks involved in multiple kidney functions, including the maintenance of sodium and water homeostasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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