Norepinephrine stimulates the epithelial Na+ channel in cortical collecting duct cells via α2-adrenoceptors

Morag K. Mansley, Winfried Neuhuber, Christoph Korbmacher*, Marko Bertog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


There is good evidence for a causal link between excessive sympathetic drive to the kidney and hypertension. We hypothesized that sympathetic regulation of tubular Na+ absorption may occur in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron, where the fine tuning of renal Na+ excretion takes place. Here, the appropriate regulation of transepithelial Na+ transport, mediated by the amiloride-sensitive epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC), is critical for blood pressure control. To explore a possible effect of the sympathetic transmitter norepinephrine on ENaC-mediated Na+ transport, we performed short-circuit current (Isc) measurements on confluent mCCDcl1 murine cortical collecting duct cells. Norepinephrine caused a complex Isc response with a sustained increase of amiloride-sensitive Isc by ∼44%. This effect was concentration dependent and mediated via basolateral α2-adrenoceptors. In cells pretreated with aldosterone, the stimulatory effect of norepinephrine was reduced. Finally, we demonstrated that noradrenergic nerve fibers are present in close proximity to ENaC-expressing cells in murine kidney slices. We conclude that the sustained stimulatory effect of locally elevated norepinephrine on ENaC-mediated Na+ absorption may contribute to the hypertensive effect of increased renal sympathetic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F450-F458
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number5
Early online date1 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Collecting duct
  • Epithelial Na channel
  • Epithelial sodium transport
  • Norepinephrine
  • Renal sympathetic innervation


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