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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2006 Mar;290(3):F608-16. Epub 2005 Sep 6.

cAMP increases surface expression of NKCC2 in rat thick ascending limbs: role of VAMP.

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Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


NaCl absorption by the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop (TAL) is mediated by the apical Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC2. cAMP increases NaCl absorption in the TAL by stimulating NKCC2. In oocytes, cAMP increases NKCC2 activity by regulating its trafficking. However, the mechanism by which cAMP stimulates NKCC2 in TALs is not clear. We hypothesized that cAMP increases surface expression of NKCC2 and NaCl absorption in TALs and that vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) is involved in this mechanism. We used surface biotinylation of rat medullary TALs (mTAL) to examine surface and total NKCC2 levels. When mTAL suspensions were treated with dibutyryl cAMP (db-cAMP) or forskolin plus IBMX for 20 min, surface NKCC2 expression increased by 126 +/- 23 and 92 +/- 17% above basal, respectively (P < 0.03). No changes in total NKCC2 expression were observed, suggesting that cAMP increased translocation of NKCC2. We studied the role of VAMP in NKCC2 translocation and found that incubating mTALs with tetanus toxin (30 nM), which inhibits vesicle trafficking by inactivating VAMP-2 and -3, completely blocked the stimulatory effect of db-cAMP on surface NKCC2 expression (tetanus toxin = 100% vs. tetanus toxin + db-cAMP = 102 +/- 21% of control; not significant). We studied VAMP-2 and -3 expression and localization in isolated perfused TALs by confocal microscopy and found that both of them were located in the subapical space of the TAL. Finally, in isolated perfused mTALs, db-cAMP increased net Cl absorption by 95.0 +/- 34.8% (P < 0.03), and pretreatment of TALs with tetanus toxin blocked the stimulation of Cl absorption (from 110.9 +/- 15.9 to 109.7 +/- 15.6 pmol.min(-1).mm(-1); not significant). We concluded that cAMP increases NKCC2 surface expression by a mechanism involving VAMP and that NKCC2 trafficking to the apical membrane is involved in the stimulation of TAL NaCl absorption by cAMP.

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