Renal Na+ excretion consequent to pharmacogenetic activation of Gq-DREADD in principal cells

Elena Mironova, Faroug Suliman, James D. Stockand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Stimulation of metabotropic Gq-coupled purinergic P2Y2 receptors decreases activity of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) in renal principal cells of the distal nephron. The physiological consequences of P2Y2 receptor signaling disruption in the P2Y2 receptor knockout mouse are decreased Na+ excretion and increased arterial blood pressure. However, because of the global nature of this knockout model, the quantitative contribution of ENaC and distal nephron compared with that of upstream renal vascular and tubular elements to changes in urinary excretion and arterial blood pressure is obscure. Moreover, it is uncertain whether stimulation of P2Y2 receptor inhibition of ENaC is sufficient to drive renal (urinary) Na+ excretion (UNaV). Here, using a pharmacogenetic approach and selective agonism of the P2Y2 receptor, we test the sufficiency of targeted stimulation of Gq signaling in principal cells of the distal nephron and P2Y2 receptors to increase UNaV. Selective stimulation of the P2Y2 receptor with the ligand MRS2768 decreased ENaC activity in freshly isolated tubules (as assessed by patch-clamp electrophysiology) and increased UNaV (as assessed in metabolic cages). Similarly, selective agonism of hM3Dq-designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) restrictively expressed in principal cells of the distal nephron with clozapine-N-oxide decreased ENaC activity and, consequently, increased UNaV. Clozapine-N-oxide, when applied to control littermates, failed to affect ENaC and UNaV. This study represents the first use of pharmacogenetic (DREADD) technology in the renal tubule and demonstrated that selective activation of the P2Y2 receptor and Gq signaling in principal cells is sufficient to promote renal salt excretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F758-F767
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Aldosterone
  • Collecting duct
  • Hypertension
  • INS45973
  • MRS2768
  • Renal physiology
  • Sodium excretion
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Physiology


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