Aldosterone increases sodium reabsorption, especially in the cortical collecting tubules. The increased sodium reabsorption is also associated with increased water reabsorption and potassium secretion. Therefore, the net effect of aldosterone is to make the kidneys retain sodium and water but to increase potassium excretion in the urine.
The function of aldosterone in regulating sodium balance is closely related to that described for angiotensin II.That is, with reduction in sodium intake, the increased angiotensin II levels that occur stimulate aldosterone secretion, which in turn contributes to the reduction in urinary sodium excretion and, therefore, to the maintenance of sodium balance. Conversely, with high sodium intake, suppression of aldosterone formation decreases tubular reabsorption, allowing the kidneys to excrete larger amounts of sodium. Thus, changes in aldosterone formation also aid the pressure natriuresis mechanism in maintaining sodium balance during variations in salt intake.
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