Intercalated cells come in α and β varieties and participate in acid-base homeostasis.
|Type of cell||Secretes||Reabsorbs|
|α-intercalated cells||acid (via an apical H+-ATPase and H+/K+ exchanger) in the form of hydrogen ions||bicarbonate (via band 3, a basolateral Cl-/HCO3- exchanger)|
|β-intercalated cells||bicarbonate (via pendrin a specialised apical Cl-/HCO3-)||acid (via a basal H+-ATPase)|
For their contribution to acid-base homeostasis, the intercalated cells play important roles in the kidney's response to acidosis and alkalosis. Damage to the α-intercalated cell's ability to secrete acid can result in distal renal tubular acidosis (RTA type I, classical RTA).
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