Previous studies have suggested that an alteration in the expression of the Na,K-ATPase of muscle may be an important determinant of enhanced insulin sensitivity in chronic renal failure. Therefore, in the present studies we have examined the effect of uremia on the Na,K-ATPase alpha isoforms in skeletal muscle, at the level of mRNA expression and enzymatic activity. The activity of the sodium pump, as measured ouabain-sensitive 86Rb/K uptake in soleus muscle, revealed a reduction in the activity in uremia, related to the increment in plasma creatinine values. The decrement in 86Rb uptake by the rat soleus muscle of experimental animals was associated with changes on Na,K-ATPase gene product. Northern analysis of mRNA revealed isoform-specific regulation of Na,K-ATPase by uremia in skeletal muscle: a decrease of approximately 50% in alpha 1 subunit Na,K-ATPase mRNA, as compared to controls. The decrement in alpha 1 mRNA correlates with the decreased activity of the Na,K-ATPase in uremia, under basal conditions and with the almost complete inhibition of the Na,K-ATPase, of uremic tissue by a concentration of 10(-5) M ouabain. Although the activity of the alpha 2 isoform pump was not modified by uremia, the 3.4-kb message for this enzyme was increased 2.2-fold; this discrepancy is discussed. Altogether these findings demonstrate that the defective extrarenal potassium handling in uremia is at least dependent in the expression of alpha 1 subunit of the Na,K-ATPase.


S Bonilla, I A Goecke, S Bozzo, M Alvo, L Michea, E T Marusic


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