Guanylin and uroguanylin induce natriuresis in mice lacking guanylyl cyclase-C receptor

Stephen L. Carrithers, Cobern E. Ott, Michael J. Hill, Brett R. Johnson, Weiyan Cai, Jason J. Chang, Rajesh G. Shah, Congmei Sun, Elizabeth A. Mann, Manasses C. Fonteles, Leonard R. Forte, Brian A. Jackson, Ralph A. Giannella, Richard N. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Background. Guanylin (GN) and uroguanylin (UGN) are intestinally derived peptide hormones that are similar in structure and activity to the diarrhea-causing Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxins (STa). These secretagogues have been shown to affect fluid, Na+, K+, and Cl- transport in both the intestine and kidney, presumably by intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent signal transduction. However, the in vivo consequences of GN, UGN, and STa on renal function and their mechanism of action have yet to be rigorously tested. Methods. We hypothesized that intravenous administration of GN, UGN, or STa would cause an increase in natriuresis in wild-type mice via cGMP and guanylyl cyclase-C (GC-C, Gucy2c), the only known receptor for these peptide-hormones, and that the peptide-induced natriuresis would be blunted in genetically altered mice devoid of GC-C receptors (GC-C(-/-) null). Results. In wild-type mice using a modified renal clearance model, GN, UGN, and STa elicited significant natriuresis, kaliuresis, and diuresis as well as increased urinary cGMP levels in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. Absolute and fractional urinary sodium excretion levels were greatest ∼40 minutes following a bolus infusion with pharmacologic doses of these peptides. Unexpectedly, GC-C(-/-) null mice also responded to the GN peptides similarly to that observed in wild-type mice. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR), blood pressure, and plasma cGMP in the mice (wild-type or GC-C(-/-) null) did not significantly vary between the vehicle- and peptide-treatment groups. The effects of UGN may also influence long-term renal function due to down-regulation of the Na+/K+ ATPase γ-subunit and the Cl- channel ClC-K2 by 60% and 75%, respectively, as assessed by differential display polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (DD-PCR) and Northern blot analysis of kidney mRNA from mice treated with UGN. Conclusion. GN, UGN, and STa act on the mouse kidney, in part, through a cGMP-dependent, GC-C-independent mechanism, causing significant natriuresis by renal tubular processes. UGN may have further long-term effects on the kidney by altering the expression of such transport-associated proteins as Na+/K + ATPase and ClC-K2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
JournalKidney International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Lexington, Kentucky (R.N.G., B.A.J., and S.L.C.), Cincinnati, Ohio (R.A.G. and L.E.M.), and Columbia, Missouri (L.R.F.); the American Cancer Society (S.L.C.); and the National (B.A.J.) and Ohio Affiliate of the American Heart Association (C.E.O.).


  • DD-PCR
  • Guanylyl cyclase
  • Kidney
  • Renal clearance
  • Sodium
  • cGMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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