Tubuloglomerular feedback signal transduction in a short loop of henle.
In previous studies, we used a mathematical model of the thick ascending limb (TAL) to investigate nonlinearities in the tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) loop. That model does not represent other segments of the nephron, the water, and NaCl transport along which may impact fluid flow rate and NaCl transport along the TAL. To investigate the extent to which those transport processes affect TGF mediation, we have developed a mathematical model for TGF signal transduction in a short loop nephron. The model combines a simple representation of the renal cortex with a highly-detailed representation of the outer medulla (OM). The OM portion of the model is based on an OM urine concentrating mechanism model previously developed by Layton and Layton (Am. J. Renal 289:F1346-F1366, 2005a). When perturbations are applied to intratubular fluid flow at the proximal straight tubule entrance, the present model predicts oscillations in fluid flow and solute concentrations in the cortical TAL and interstitium, and in all tubules, vessels, and interstitium in the OM. Model results suggest that TGF signal transduction by the TAL is a generator of nonlinearities: if a sinusoidal oscillation is added to constant intratubular fluid flow, the time required for an element of tubular fluid to traverse the TAL is oscillatory, but nonsinusoidal; those results are consistent with our previous studies. As a consequence, oscillations in NaCl concentration in tubular fluid alongside the macula densa (MD) will be nonsinusoidal and contain harmonics of the original sinusoidal frequency. Also, the model predicts that the oscillations in NaCl concentration at the loop-bend fluid are smaller in amplitude than those at the MD, a result that further highlights the crucial role of TAL in the nonlinear transduction of TGF signal from SNGFR to MD NaCl concentration.
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