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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 978196, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/978196
Review Article

Regulation of Epithelial Sodium Transport via Epithelial Na+ Channel

1Department of Molecular Cell Physiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
2Japan Institute for Food Education and Health, Heian Jogakuin (St. Agnes') University, Kyoto 602-8013, Japan
3Shin-Koiwa Clinic, Tokyo 124-0023, Japan
4Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
5Department of Physiology, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki 569-8686, Japan

Received 21 May 2011; Revised 9 July 2011; Accepted 3 August 2011

Academic Editor: Val J. Watts

Copyright © 2011 Yoshinori Marunaka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Renal epithelial Na+ transport plays an important role in homeostasis of our body fluid content and blood pressure. Further, the Na+ transport in alveolar epithelial cells essentially controls the amount of alveolar fluid that should be kept at an appropriate level for normal gas exchange. The epithelial Na+ transport is generally mediated through two steps: (1) the entry step of Na+ via epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) at the apical membrane and (2) the extrusion step of Na+ via the Na+, K+-ATPase at the basolateral membrane. In general, the Na+ entry via ENaC is the rate-limiting step. Therefore, the regulation of ENaC plays an essential role in control of blood pressure and normal gas exchange. In this paper, we discuss two major factors in ENaC regulation: (1) activity of individual ENaC and (2) number of ENaC located at the apical membrane.