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Int Arch Med. 2009 Sep 29;2(1):28. doi: 10.1186/1755-7682-2-28.

Regulation of the epithelial sodium channel [ENaC] in kidneys of salt-sensitive Dahl rats: insights on alternative splicing.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


The epithelial sodium channel [ENaC] is critical for the maintenance of sodium balance, extracellular fluid volume and long term blood pressure control. Monogenic disorders causing ENaC hyperactivity have led to a severe form of hereditary hypertension in humans, known as Liddle's syndrome. Similarly, in animal models, ENaC hyperactivity has been well documented in kidneys of salt-sensitive [S] Dahl rats [a genetic model of salt-sensitive hypertension] versus their normotensive control [Dahl salt-resistant [R] rats]. The purpose of the present review is to highlight the differential regulation of ENaC in kidneys of Dahl S versus R rats. A systematic overview of the putative role of alternative splicing of the main alpha subunit of ENaC [alpha ENaC] in modulating ENaC expression in kidneys of Dahl rats will be discussed. Finally, a better understanding of the meaningful contribution of ENaC in the pathogenesis of salt-sensitive hypertension will be achieved upon completion of this review.

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