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Ren Physiol. 1984;7(4):193-204.

Tubular reabsorption in normal renal function.


The purpose here is to examine in relation to normal renal function three factors which might affect tubular reabsorption: (1) The reabsorption of SO4, PO4, K, Cl, HCO3 and water are all linked to the reabsorption of Na. This would amount to the reabsorption by the tubules of a net reabsorbate of a composition similar to Locke's fluid. Fixed linkage of the reabsorption of a substance to the reabsorption of Na would be a very effective way of maintaining its plasma concentration within a narrow range. The substance would be retained unless its plasma concentration exceeds a threshold value and then small increase in plasma concentration determines its excretion. (2) The rate of reabsorption of Na and substances linked to it is increased when the volume of the intraluminal fluid is increased. This would explain why there is only a small increase in the excretion of Na and other electrolytes when glomerular filtration rate is increased after a meal of meat. (3) Plasma protein concentration affects tubular reabsorption. This would explain why fall in plasma protein is a main agent determining Na excretion in normal animals. Trying to see 'how far the observed facts can be brought into accord with a theory' reveals the difficulty of applying critical tests. On the one hand, the theories are not stated quantitatively in reference to the small changes of normal life; rather the evidence is from experiments with large changes. On the other hand, the small changes within the range of normal function, while themselves statistically significant, are too small for effective investigation of circumstances which may modify them. In the examples discussed here, we cannot say more than that the theories could explain the facts and their participation cannot be excluded.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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