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Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2011 Mar;18(2):85-90. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2010.11.004.

Intestinal phosphate transport.

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Endocrine and Renal Sciences, Genzyme Corporation, Framingham, MA, USA.


Phosphate is absorbed in the small intestine by a minimum of 2 distinct mechanisms: paracellular phosphate transport which is dependent on passive diffusion, and active transport which occurs through the sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporters. Despite evidence emerging for other ions, regulation of the phosphate-specific paracellular pathways remains largely unexplored. In contrast, there is a growing body of evidence that active transport through the sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter, Npt2b, is highly regulated by a diverse set of hormones and dietary conditions. Furthermore, conditional knockout of Npt2b suggests that it plays an important role in maintenance of phosphate homeostasis by coordinating intestinal phosphate absorption with renal phosphate reabsorption. The knockout mouse also suggests that Npt2b is responsible for the majority of sodium-dependent phosphate uptake. The type-III sodium-dependent phosphate transporters, Pit1 and Pit2, contribute to a minor role in total phosphate uptake. Despite coexpression along the apical membrane, differential responses of Pit1 and Npt2b regulation to chronic versus dietary changes illustrates another layer of phosphate transport control. Finally, a major problem in patients with CKD is management of hyperphosphatemia. The present evidence suggests that targeting key regulatory pathways of intestinal phosphate transport may provide novel therapeutic approaches for patients with CKD.

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