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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 14;109(33):13368-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202671109. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Double knockout of pendrin and Na-Cl cotransporter (NCC) causes severe salt wasting, volume depletion, and renal failure.

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  • 1Research Services, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA.


The Na-Cl cotransporter (NCC), which is the target of inhibition by thiazides, is located in close proximity to the chloride-absorbing transporter pendrin in the kidney distal nephron. Single deletion of pendrin or NCC does not cause salt wasting or excessive diuresis under basal conditions, raising the possibility that these transporters are predominantly active during salt depletion or in response to excess aldosterone. We hypothesized that pendrin and NCC compensate for loss of function of the other under basal conditions, thereby masking the role that each plays in salt absorption. To test our hypothesis, we generated pendrin/NCC double knockout (KO) mice by crossing pendrin KO mice with NCC KO mice. Pendrin/NCC double KO mice displayed severe salt wasting and sharp increase in urine output under basal conditions. As a result, animals developed profound volume depletion, renal failure, and metabolic alkalosis without hypokalemia, which were all corrected with salt replacement. We propose that the combined inhibition of pendrin and NCC can provide a strong diuretic regimen without causing hypokalemia for patients with fluid overload, including patients with congestive heart failure, nephrotic syndrome, diuretic resistance, or generalized edema.

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