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Chapter: Medical Physiology: Adrenocortical Hormones

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Aldosterone Stimulates Sodium and Potassium Transport

Aldosterone Stimulates Sodium and Potassium Transport in Sweat Glands, Salivary Glands, and Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Aldosterone Stimulates Sodium and Potassium Transport in Sweat Glands, Salivary Glands, and Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Aldosterone has almost the same effects on sweat glands and salivary glands as it has on the renal tubules. Both these glands form a primary secretion that contains large quantities of sodium chloride, but much of the sodium chloride, on passing through the excretory ducts, is reabsorbed, whereas potassium and bicarbonate ions are secreted. Aldosterone greatly increases the reabsorption of sodium chloride and the secretion of potassium by the ducts. The effect on the sweat glands is important to conserve body salt in hot environments, and the effect on the salivary glands is necessary to conserve salt when excessive quantities of saliva are lost.

Aldosterone also greatly enhances sodium absorp-tion by the intestines, especially in the colon, which prevents loss of sodium in the stools. Conversely, in the absence of aldosterone, sodium absorption can be poor, leading to failure to absorb chloride and other anions and water as well. The unabsorbed sodium chloride and water then lead to diarrhea, with further loss of salt from the body.


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