Mathematical rationalization for the renal tubular transport: revised concepts.

Mioni R , Marega A , Romano G , Montanaro D
Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation
The current emphasis on kinetics and in situ control of molecular exchanges, across the tubular membrane, has not been paralleled by corresponding improvements in our understanding of tubular behaviour at the macroscopic level of classical physiology. In this paper, we propose a mathematical rationalization of macroscopic tubular transport by means of a principal transport equation, originating from the law of mass action between substrate and carrier. The other equations, derived from the main one, demonstrate the possibility of distinguishing between transporters with low affinity and high capacity and transporters with high affinity and low capacity. Moreover, our model formalizes both tubular reabsorption and tubular secretion. Regarding the renal calcium handling, our model confirms the two-compartment system proposed by Mioni in 1971, with some important variants, which are in agreement with the fractional reabsorptions of this cation along the tubule, as verified by micro-puncture technique. To obtain the frequency distribution of saturated tubules, we have utilized the infinitesimal analysis method, starting from the equations proposed by Smith in 1943, concluding that all titration curves result from the combined effect of enzymatic approach and anatomical heterogeneity of the nephrons. The theoretical equations included in our manuscript reflect substantial and palpable physiological mechanisms able to suggest diagnosis and therapy of some electrolyte and hormonal disorders. At the end of this paper, we highlight advantages and disadvantages detectable by comparing our mathematical approach with Marshall's and Bijvoet's methods, proposed, respectively, in 1976 and 1984.

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