PMID: 7270686Aug 1, 1981

Sympathetic system in potassium homeostasis

The American Journal of Physiology
P Silva, K Spokes


The extrarenal disposal of potassium was studied in nephrectomized and adrenalectomized rats by measuring the rise in serum potassium produced during an infusion of 3 meq KCl/kg over 90 min. Adrenalectomy alone did not alter the volume of distribution of infused potassium in nephrectomized animals. When nephrectomy and adrenalectomy were combined with either insulin deficiency produced by streptozotocin or chemical sympathectomy induced by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine, potassium tolerance was significantly impaired. Hyperkalemia produced in chemically sympathectomized animals by potassium infusion was minimized by simultaneous infusion of epinephrine, an effect blocked by the beta-antagonist propranolol but not by the alpha-blocker phenoxybenzamine. These results suggest that extra renal uptake of potassium, in addition to being influenced by insulin and circulating catecholamines, is modulated by peripheral sympathetic activity.


Oct 4, 2000·Physiological Reviews·O M Sejersted, G Sjøgaard

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