Molecular mechanisms for the regulation of blood pressure by potassium
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© 2019 Elsevier Inc.It has been well documented that the amount of potassium in the diet is associated with blood pressure levels in the population: the higher the potassium consumption, the lower the blood pressure and the cardiovascular mortality. In the last few years certain mechanisms for potassium regulation of salt reabsorption in the kidney have been elucidated at the molecular level. In this work we discuss the evidence demonstrating the relationship between potassium intake and blood pressure levels in human populations and in animal models, as well as the experimental data that reveal the effects of potassium on transepithelial Na+ reabsorption in different nephron segments. We also discuss the physiological relevance of K+-induced natriuresis, and finally, we focus on the molecular mechanisms by which extracellular potassium modulates the activity of the renal NaCl cotransporter, which is the mechanism that has been best dissected so far.