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Reciprocal regulation of the primary sodium absorptive pathways in rat intestinal epithelial cells

By Steven Coon, Ramesh Kekuda, Prosenjit Saha and Uma Sundaram


Sodium absorption in the mammalian small intestine occurs predominantly by two primary pathways that include Na/H exchange (NHE3) and Na-glucose cotransport (SGLT1) on the brush border membrane (BBM) of villus cells. However, whether NHE3 and SGLT1 function together to regulate intestinal sodium absorption is unknown. Nontransformed small intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-18) were transfected with either NHE3 or SGLT1 small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and were grown in confluent monolayers on transwell plates to measure the effects on Na absorption. Uptake studies were performed as well as molecular studies to determine the effects on NHE3 and SGLT1 activity. When IEC-18 monolayers were transfected with silencing NHE3 RNA, the cells demonstrated decreased NHE3 activity as well as decreased NHE3 mRNA and protein. However, in NHE3 siRNA-transected cells, SGLT1 activity, mRNA, and protein in the BBM were significantly increased. Thus, inhibition of NHE3 expression regulates the expression and function of SGLT1 in the BBM of intestinal epithelial cells. In addition, IEC-18 cells transected with silencing SGLT1 RNA demonstrated an inhibition of Na-dependent glucose uptake and a decrease in SGLT1 activity, mRNA, and protein levels. However, in these cells, Na/H exchange activity was significantly increased. Furthermore, NHE3 mRNA and protein levels were also increased. Therefore, the inhibition of SGLT1 expression stimulates the transcription and function of NHE3 and vice versa in the BBM of intestinal epithelial cells. Thus this study demonstrates that the major sodium absorptive pathways together function to regulate sodium absorption in epithelial cells

Topics: Membrane Transporters, Ion Channels and Pumps
Publisher: American Physiological Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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