Aldosterone Decreases UT-A1 Urea Transporter Expression via the Mineralocorticoid Receptor

Randy A. Gertner, Janet D. Klein, James L. Bailey, Dong Un Kim, Xiao H. Luo, Serena M. Bagnasco, Jeff M. Sands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Adrenalectomy in rats is associated with urinary concentrating and diluting defects. This study tested the effect of adrenal steroids on the UT-A1 urea transporter because it is involved in the urine-concentrating mechanism. Rats were adrenalectomized and given normal saline for 14 d, after which they received (1) vehicle, (2) aldosterone, or (3) spironolactone plus aldosterone. Adrenalectomy alone significantly increased UT-A1 protein in the inner medullary tip after 7 d, whereas aldosterone repletion reversed the effect. Spironolactone blocked the aldosterone-induced decrease in UT-A1, indicating that aldosterone was working via the mineralocorticoid receptor. For verifying that glucocorticoids downregulate UT-A1 protein through a different receptor, three groups of adrenalectomized rats were prepared: (1) vehicle, (2) adrenalectomy plus dexamethasone, and (3) adrenalectomy plus dexamethasone and spironolactone. Dexamethasone significantly reversed UT-A1 protein abundance increase in the inner medullary tip of adrenalectomized rats. When spironolactone was given with dexamethasone, it did not affect the dexamethasone-induced decrease in UT-A1. There was no significant change in serum vasopressin level, aquaporin 2, or Na+-K+-2Cl - co-transporter NKCC2/BSC1 protein abundances or UT-A1 mRNA abundance in any of the groups. In conclusion, either mineralocorticoids or glucocorticoids can downregulate UT-A1 protein. The decrease in UT-A1 does not require both steroid hormones, and each works through a different receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-565
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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