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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Dec;22(12):2237-46. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2010101095. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

AT1 receptors in the collecting duct directly modulate the concentration of urine.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Duke University Medical Center, MSRBII Room 2018, 106 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Mice lacking AT(1) angiotensin receptors have an impaired capacity to concentrate the urine, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. To determine whether direct actions of AT(1) receptors in epithelial cells of the collecting duct regulate water reabsorption, we used Cre-Loxp technology to specifically eliminate AT(1A) receptors from the collecting duct in mice (CD-KOs). Although levels of AT(1A) receptor mRNA in the inner medulla of CD-KO mice were significantly reduced, their kidneys appeared structurally normal. Under basal conditions, plasma and urine osmolalities and urine volumes were similar between CD-KO mice and controls. The increase in urine osmolality in response to water deprivation or vasopressin administration, however, was consistently attenuated in CD-KO mice. Similarly, levels of aquaporin-2 protein in inner and outer medulla after water deprivation were significantly lower in CD-KO mice compared with controls, despite its normal localization to the apical membrane. In summary, these results demonstrate that AT(1A) receptors in epithelial cells of the collecting duct directly modulate aquaporin-2 levels and contribute to the concentration of urine.

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