On its apical surface (lumen side), cells of the DCT have a thiazide-sensitive Na-Cl cotransporter and are permeable to Ca, via TRPV5 channel. On the basolateral surface (blood) there is an ATP dependent Na/K antiport pump, a secondary active Na/Ca transporter-- antiport, and an ATP dependent Ca transporter. The basolateral ATP dependent Na/K pump produces the gradient for Na to be absorbed from the apical surface via the Na/Cl synport and for Ca to be reclaimed into the blood by the Na/Ca basolateral antiport.
- It regulates pH by absorbing bicarbonate and secreting protons (H+) into the filtrate, or by absorbing protons and secreting bicarbonate into the filtrate.
- Sodium and potassium levels are controlled by secreting K+ and absorbing Na+. Sodium absorption by the distal tubule is mediated by the hormone aldosterone. Aldosterone increases sodium reabsorption. Sodium and chloride (salt) reabsorption is also mediated by a group of kinases called WNK kinases. There are 4 different WNK kinases, WNK1, WNK2, WNK3, and WNK4.
- It also participates in calcium regulation by reabsorbing Ca2+ in response to parathyroid hormone. PTH effect is mediated through phosphorylation of regulatory proteins and enhancing the synthesis of all transporters within the distal convoluted tubule.
- Arginine vasopressin receptor 2 is also expressed in the DCT.
Read more about this topic: Distal Convoluted Tubule
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