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Kidney Int. 2006 Jan;69(1):89-98.

Biphasic changes of epithelial sodium channel abundance and trafficking in common bile duct ligation-induced liver cirrhosis.

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The Water and Salt Research Center, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark.


We hypothesize that dysregulation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) may be responsible for the increased sodium retention in liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis was induced by common bile duct ligation (CBDL). We examined the abundance of ENaC subunits and type 2 isoform of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11betaHSD2) in the kidney by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry at 6 or 8 weeks after operation. At 6 weeks, cirrhotic rats had developed ascites and displayed a positive sodium balance. The urinary sodium excretion and fractional excretion of sodium were decreased, while plasma aldosterone was unchanged. The abundance of ENaC subunits was not changed in the cortex and outer stripe of the outer medulla (OSOM). In contrast, immunoperoxidase microscopy revealed an increased apical targeting of alpha-, beta- and gammaENaC in late distal convoluted tubule, connecting tubule and collecting duct. Moreover, 11betaHSD2 abundance was decreased in the cortex/OSOM and inner stripe of the outer medulla. At 8 weeks, urinary sodium excretion and fractional excretion of sodium were not changed, while the plasma aldosterone level was decreased. The expression of ENaC subunits was decreased in the cortex/OSOM. Immunoperoxidase microscopy confirmed decreased expression of ENaC subunits, whereas subcellular localization was not changed. These results suggest that increased apical targeting of ENaC subunits and diminished abundance of 11betaHSD2 may contribute to promote sodium retention in the sodium-retaining stage of liver cirrhosis (at 6 weeks). The subsequent decreased expression and reduced targeting of ENaC subunits may play a role in promoting sodium excretion in the later stage of liver cirrhosis (at 8 weeks).

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