NCCR Kidney.CH was active from 2010 to 2022. The website is currently being maintained but will go offline on April 20, 2025.
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Basic & Clinical Research

We use an integrative physiological approach to learn more about the central role that the kidneys play in the homeostatic regulation of body fluid composition. The research of Kidney.CH is organized in 3 work packages, each of which focuses on a kidney centred homeostatic theme.

Basic & Clinical Research
  • Oxygen


  • Dietary Ions

    Dietary Ions

    • Dietary Ions

      Work Package 2

      Dietary Ions

      WP Leader: Johannes Loffing

      WP Co-Leader: Edith Hummler

    • Renal impact of dietary K<sup>+</sup>

      Project 1

      Renal impact of dietary K+

      Project Leader: Johannes Loffing

      Additional Contributors: Carsten Wagner, Andreas Pasch

    • Candidate genes for renal K<sup>+</sup> response

      Project 2

      Candidate genes for renal K+ response

      Project Leader: Edith Hummler

      Additional Contributors: Roland Wenger, Ian Frew, Johannes Loffing, Sophie de Seigneux, Jean-Pierre Montani, Zhihong Yang, Reto Krapf

    • Combined effects of dietary Na<sup>+</sup> & K<sup>+</sup>

      Project 3

      Combined effects of dietary Na+ & K+

      Project Leader: Eric Féraille

      Additional Contributors: Zhihong Yang

    • Adrenal gland, K<sup>+</sup> & hypertension

      Project 4

      Adrenal gland, K+ & hypertension

      Project Leader: Felix Beuschlein

    « »

    Dietary K+ and Na+, renal function and blood pressure control

    The kidneys are central for blood pressure control. Arterial hypertension is cause and consequence of kidney disease. Dietary habits (e.g. high sodium (Na+), low potassium (K+) intakes), impaired hormonal signaling and genetic predisposition are thought to contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of hypertension. The main objective of this WP is to elucidate the mechanism by which dietary K+ and Na+ impacts on the normal and diseased kidney and which factors determine the individual K+ and Na+ sensitivity of blood pressure.

    Renal impact of dietary K+

    Johannes Loffing

    High K+ intake has antihypertensive effects. The kidneys respond very quickly to dietary K+ intake, e.g. after eating a banana. Using various ex vivo assays (e.g. kidney slice preparations, isolated-perfused kidney) and genetically modified mouse models, we aim to better understand the beneficial effects of dietary K+ and to identify novel signaling pathways involved in renal blood pressure control.

    • Penton D, Czogalla J, Loffing J. Dietary potassium and the renal control of salt balance and blood pressure. Pflugers Arch. 467: 513-30 (2015)
    • Sorensen MV, Grossmann S, Roesinger M, Gresko N, Todkar AP, Barmettler G, Ziegler U, Odermatt A, Loffing-Cueni D, Loffing J. Rapid dephosphorylation of the renal sodium chloride cotransporter in response to oral potassium intake in mice. Kidney Int. 83: 811-24 (2013)

    Candidate genes for renal K+ response

    Edith Hummler

    The underlying genetic determinants of the K+ sensitivity of blood pressure are largely unknown. Using genetic analysis, we identified several candidate genes for the renal control of K+ homeostasis. Using mainly mouse models and heterologous expression systems, the project characterizes the functional role of these candidate genes and tests their contribution to the K+ sensitivity of blood pressure.

    • Keppner A, Marc D, Sergi C, Ansermet, C, De Bellis D, Kratschmar DV, Canonica J, Klusonova P, Fenton RA, Odermatt A, Crambert G, Hoogewijs D, Hummler E. Deletion of the serine protease CAP2/Tmprss4 leads to dysregulated renal water handling upon dietary potassium depletion. Scientific Reports 9: 19540 (2019)
    • Canonica J, Frateschi S, Boscardin E, Ebering A, Sergi C, Jäger Y, Peyrollaz T, Mérillat AM, Maillard M, Klusonova P, Odermatt A, Koesters R, Debonneville A, Staub O, Verouti SN, Hummler E. Lack of renal tubular glucocorticoid receptor decreases the thiazide-sensitive Na+/Cl- cotransporter NCC and transiently affects sodium handling. Frontiers Physiology 10: 989 (2019)

    Combined effects of dietary Na+ & K+

    Eric Féraille

    The intake of Na+ and K+ varies in wide ranges and independent from each other. Nevertheless, the renal handling of both ions largely interferes. The aim of this project is to analyze the combined effects of differently modulated dietary Na+ and K+ intake on body fluid and ion homeostasis and to address its impact on the control of blood pressure and the propensity for urinary stone formation. Underlying mechanism are addressed for both the healthy and the diseased kidney.

    • Udwan D, Abed A, Roth I, Dizin E, Maillard M, Bettoni C, Loffing J, Wagner C, Edwards A, Feraille E. Dietary sodium induces a redistribution of the tubular
      metabolic workload. J Physiol 595:1-18 (2017)
    • Wang Y, Leroy V, Maunsbach A, Doucet A, Hasler U, Dizin E, Ernandez T, de Seigneux S, Martin P, Féraille E. Sodium Transport Is Modulated by p38 Kinase–Dependent Cross-Talk between ENaC and Na,K-ATPase in Collecting Duct Principal Cells. J Am Soc Nephrol. 25: 250-59 (2014)

    Adrenal gland, K+ & hypertension

    Felix Beuschlein

    The adrenal gland and the kidney cooperate for the control of K+ and Na+ homeostasis and blood pressure. The objective of this projects is to elucidate the mechanisms that mediate the effects of dietary and extracellular K+ on adrenal aldosterone secretion and to address its consequences on ion homeostasis, blood pressure and general health. To address these questions, we analyze data on human patient cohorts and perform experiments on mouse models with altered adrenal gland function.

    • Swierczynska MN, Betz MJ, Colombi M, Dazert E, Jenö P, Moes S, Pfaff C, Glatz K, Reincke M, Beuschlein F, Donath MY, Hall MN. Proteomic Landscape of Aldosterone-Producing Adenoma. Hypertension 73: 469-80 (2019)
    • Murakami M, Rhayem Y, Kunzke T, Sun N, Feuchtinger A, Ludwig P, Strom TM, Knösel T, Kirchner T, Williams TA, Reincke M, Walch AK, Beuschlein F. High Throughput in situ Metabolomics for Genotype/phenotype Correlation in Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas. JCI Insight (2019), in press
  • Mineralisation


  • SKSC Research

    SKSC Research

  • Clinical Study Group

    Clinical Study Group