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Effects of a high-sodium diet on renal tubule Ca2+ transporter and claudin expression in Wistar-Kyoto rats

Midori Sasaki Yatabe12*, Junichi Yatabe12, Kozue Takano1, Yuta Murakami1, Rina Sakuta1, Sadahiko Abe1, Hironobu Sanada3, Junko Kimura1 and Tsuyoshi Watanabe2

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, 960-1295, Japan

2 Department of Nephrology, Hypertension, Diabetology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan

3 Division of Health Science Research, Fukushima Welfare Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives, Fukushima, Japan

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Citation and License

BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:160  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-160

Published: 2 December 2012



Urinary Ca2+ excretion increases with dietary NaCl. NaCl-induced calciuria may be associated with hypertension, urinary stone formation and osteoporosis, but its mechanism and long-term effects are not fully understood. This study examined alterations in the expressions of renal Ca2+ transporters, channels and claudins upon salt loading to better understand the mechanism of salt-induced urinary Ca2+ loss.


Eight-week old Wistar-Kyoto rats were fed either 0.3% or 8% NaCl diet for 8 weeks. Renal cortical expressions of Na+/Ca2+ exchanger 1 (NCX1), Ca2+ pump (PCMA1b), Ca2+ channel (TRPV5), calbindin-D28k, and claudins (CLDN-2, -7, -8, -16 and −19) were analyzed by quantitative PCR, western blot and/or immunohistochemistry.


Fractional excretion of Ca2+ increased 6.0 fold with high-salt diet. Renal cortical claudin-2 protein decreased by approximately 20% with decreased immunological staining on tissue sections. Claudin-16 and −19 expressions were not altered. Renal cortical TRPV5, calbindin-D28k and NCX1 expressions increased 1.6, 1.5 and 1.2 fold, respectively.


Chronic high-salt diet decreased claudin-2 protein and increased renal TRPV5, calbindin-D28k, and NCX1. Salt loading is known to reduce the proximal tubular reabsorption of both Na+ and Ca2+. The reduction in claudin-2 protein expression may be partly responsible for the reduced Ca2+ reabsorption in this segment. The concerted upregulation of more distal Ca2+-transporting molecules may be a physiological response to curtail the loss of Ca2+, although the magnitude of compensation does not seem adequate to bring the urinary Ca2+ excretion down to that of the normal-diet group.

Calcium; Sodium chloride; Distal tubule; Na+/Ca2+ exchanger; Ca2+ channel; Claudins