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Med Sci (Paris). 2016 May;32(5):485-90. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20163205015. Epub 2016 May 25.

[Mechanisms of caffeine-induced diuresis].

[Article in French]

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Faculté de médecine, université de Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgique.
Service de pharmacologie et laboratoire de neurophysiologie, GIGA neurosciences, université de Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgique.
GIGA cardiovasculaires, université de Liège, Avenue Hippocrate, 13, 4000 Liège, Belgique - Service de néphrologie, CHU de Liège, 4000 Liège Belgique.


Caffeine is an alkaloid which belongs to the family of methylxanthines and is present in beverages, food and drugs. Caffeine competitively antagonizes the adenosine receptors (AR), which are G protein-coupled receptors largely distributed throughout the body, including brain, heart, vessels and kidneys. Caffeine consumption has a well-known diuretic effect. The homeostasis of salt and water involves different segments of the nephron, in which adenosine plays complex roles depending on the differential expression of AR. Hence, caffeine increases glomerular filtration rate by opposing the vasoconstriction of renal afferent arteriole mediated by adenosine via type 1 AR during the tubuloglomerular feedback. Caffeine also inhibits Na(+) reabsorption at the level of renal proximal tubules. In addition, caffeine perturbs the hepatorenal reflex via sensory nerves in Mall's intrahepatic spaces. Here, we review the physiology of caffeine-induced natriuresis and diuresis, as well as the putative pathological implications.

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