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    Both sodium reabsorption in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (TAL) and macula densa salt sensing crucially depend on the function of the Na/K/2Cl cotransporter NKCC2. The NKCC2 gene gives rise to at least three different full-length NKCC2 isoforms derived from differential splicing. In the present study, we addressed the influence of dietary salt intake on the differential splicing of NKCC2. Mice were subjected to diets with low-salt, standard salt, and high-salt content for 7 days, and NKCC2 isoform mRNA abundance was determined. With decreasing salt intake, we found a reduced abundance of the low-affinity isoform NKCC2A and an increase in the high-affinity isoform NKCC2B in the renal cortex and the outer stripe of the outer medulla. This shift from NKCC2A to NKCC2B during a low-salt diet could be mimicked by furosemide in vivo and in cultured kidney slices. Furthermore, the changes in NKCC2 isoform abundance during a salt-restricted diet were partly mediated by the actions of angiotensin II on AT1 receptors, as determined using chronic angiotensin II infusion. In contrast to changes in oral salt intake, water restriction (48 h) and water loading (8% sucrose solution) increased and suppressed the expression of all NKCC2 isoforms, without changing the distribution pattern of the single isoforms. In summary, the differential splicing of NKCC2 pre-mRNA is modulated by dietary salt intake, which may be mediated by changes in intracellular ion composition. Differential splicing of NKCC2 appears to contribute to the adaptive capacity of the kidney to cope with changes in reabsorptive needs.


    Ina Maria Schiessl, Agnes Rosenauer, Veronika Kattler, Will W Minuth, Mona Oppermann, Hayo Castrop. Dietary salt intake modulates differential splicing of the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC2. American journal of physiology. Renal physiology. 2013 Oct 15;305(8):F1139-48

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    PMID: 23946287

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