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Kidney Int. 2007 Aug;72(4):397-410. Epub 2007 Jun 13.

Renal and extrarenal regulation of potassium.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8026, USA.


The ISN Forefronts in Nephrology Symposium took place 8-11 September 2005 in Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. It was dedicated to the memory of Robert W. Berliner, who died at age 86 on 5 February 2002. Dr Berliner contributed in a major way to our understanding of potassium transport in the kidney. Starting in the late 1940s, without knowledge of how potassium was transported across specific nephron segments and depending only on renal clearance methods, he and his able associates provided a still-valid blueprint of the basic transport properties of potassium handling by the kidney. They firmly established that potassium was simultaneously reabsorbed and secreted along the nephron; that variations in secretion in the distal nephron segments play a major role in regulating potassium excretion; and that such secretion is modulated by sodium, acid-base factors, hormones, and diuretics. These conclusions were presented in a memorable Harvey Lecture some forty years ago, and they have remained valid ever since. The concepts have also provided the foundation and stimulation for later work on single nephrons, tubule cells, and transport proteins involved in potassium transport.

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