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A role for Rhesus factor Rhcg in renal ammonium excretion and male fertility


Biver, S; Belge, H; Bourgeois, S; Van Vooren, P; Nowik, M; Scohy, S; Houillier, P; Szpirer, J; Szpirer, C; Wagner, C A; Devuyst, O; Marini, A M (2008). A role for Rhesus factor Rhcg in renal ammonium excretion and male fertility. Nature, 456(7220):339-343.

Abstract

The kidney has an important role in the regulation of acid-base homeostasis. Renal ammonium production and excretion are essential for net acid excretion under basal conditions and during metabolic acidosis. Ammonium is secreted into the urine by the collecting duct, a distal nephron segment where ammonium transport is believed to occur by non-ionic NH(3) diffusion coupled to H(+) secretion. Here we show that this process is largely dependent on the Rhesus factor Rhcg. Mice lacking Rhcg have abnormal urinary acidification due to impaired ammonium excretion on acid loading-a feature of distal renal tubular acidosis. In vitro microperfused collecting ducts of Rhcg(-/-) acid-loaded mice show reduced apical permeability to NH(3) and impaired transepithelial NH(3) transport. Furthermore, Rhcg is localized in epididymal epithelial cells and is required for normal fertility and epididymal fluid pH. We anticipate a critical role for Rhcg in ammonium handling and pH homeostasis both in the kidney and the male reproductive tract.

The kidney has an important role in the regulation of acid-base homeostasis. Renal ammonium production and excretion are essential for net acid excretion under basal conditions and during metabolic acidosis. Ammonium is secreted into the urine by the collecting duct, a distal nephron segment where ammonium transport is believed to occur by non-ionic NH(3) diffusion coupled to H(+) secretion. Here we show that this process is largely dependent on the Rhesus factor Rhcg. Mice lacking Rhcg have abnormal urinary acidification due to impaired ammonium excretion on acid loading-a feature of distal renal tubular acidosis. In vitro microperfused collecting ducts of Rhcg(-/-) acid-loaded mice show reduced apical permeability to NH(3) and impaired transepithelial NH(3) transport. Furthermore, Rhcg is localized in epididymal epithelial cells and is required for normal fertility and epididymal fluid pH. We anticipate a critical role for Rhcg in ammonium handling and pH homeostasis both in the kidney and the male reproductive tract.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:20 November 2008
Deposited On:06 Jan 2009 11:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:48
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
Publisher DOI:10.1038/nature07518
PubMed ID:19020613
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-9739

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