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Distal renal tubular acidosis developments in its diagnosis and pathophysiology

Walsh, S.B.; (2010) Distal renal tubular acidosis developments in its diagnosis and pathophysiology. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis describes two groups of experiments, both relating to the condition of distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA). In the first, an alternative diagnostic test of dRTA to the ‘gold standard’ short ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) test was assessed. This was achieved by the simultaneous oral administration of the diuretic furosemide and the mineralocorticoid fludrocortisone to increase distal sodium delivery and a-intercalated cell proton secretion. I evaluated 11 control subjects and 10 patients with known dRTA by giving oral NH4Cl or furosemide/fludrocortisone in random order on separate days. 3 subjects were unable to complete the study due to vomiting after the NH4Cl, however there were no adverse effects with furosemide/fludrocortisone administration. The urine pH decreased to less than 5.3 in the controls with both tests, whereas no patients were able to lower their urine pH below 5.3 with either test. The simultaneous administration of furosemide/fludrocortisone proved to be an easy, effective and well-tolerated alternative to the standard NH4Cl test for the diagnosis of dRTA. The second group were laboratory-based molecular physiology experiments. Anion exchanger 1 (AE1) mediates electroneutral anion exchange across cell membranes. It is the most abundant protein in the red cell membrane, but is also found in the basolateral membrane of renal a-intercalated cells, where it is required for urinary acidification. Point mutations have been described that convert the red cell AE1 into a cation conductance. AE1 mutations can also cause hereditary dRTA. I investigated the properties of four dRTA associated AE1 mutations (R586H, G609R, S613F and G701D) by heterologous expression in Xenopus Laevis oocytes. These mutants proved to be functional anion exchangers, unlike the red cell mutants, but also demonstrated a cation ‘leak’. I found a very large leak property in the G701D mutant, which is prevalent in SE Asia. I hypothesised that this property might confer a survival advantage. I characterised three other AR dRTA-associated AE1 mutants found in SE Asia, S773P, \Delta850 and A858D via similar transport experiments in AE1-expressing Xenopus oocytes. These three SE Asian mutants also had cation leaks of similar magnitude to that seen in G701D, a property that distinguishes them as a discrete group. The clustering of these cation-leaky AE1 mutations to malarious areas of SE Asia suggests that they may confer malaria resistance.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Distal renal tubular acidosis developments in its diagnosis and pathophysiology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: The abstract contains LaTeX text. Please see the attached pdf for rendered expressions
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Nephrology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/19566
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