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Semin Nephrol. 2008 May;28(3):297-305. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2008.03.007.

Aquaporin 2 and apical calcium-sensing receptor: new players in polyuric disorders associated with hypercalciuria.

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Department of General and Environmental Physiology and Center of Excellence in Comparative Genomics, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


The kidney plays a critical role in regulating water homeostasis through specific proteins highly expressed in the kidney, called aquaporins, allowing water permeation at a high rate. This brief review focuses on some nephropathies associated with impaired urinary concentrating ability and in particular analyzes the role of aquaporin 2 in hypercalciuria, the most common metabolic abnormality in patients with nephrolithiasis. Specifically, this review discusses the relationship between hypercalciuria and impaired aquaporin 2-mediated water handling in both acquired and inherited disorders characterized by hypercalciuria, including those affecting the sensor of extracellular calcium concentration, the calcium-sensing receptor, which represents the principal target for extracellular calcium regulation of several tissues including parathyroid glands and kidney. In the kidney, the calcium-sensing receptor regulates renal calcium excretion and influences the transepithelial movement of water and other electrolytes. Understanding the molecular basis of alteration of kidney concentrating ability found in hypercalciuria will help for devising strategies for reducing the risk of nephrocalcinosis, nephrolithiasis, and renal insufficiency.

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