Endothelin-3 expression in the subfornical organ enhances the sensitivity of Nax, the brain sodium-level sensor, to suppress salt intake

Takeshi Y. Hiyama, Masahide Yoshida, Masahito Matsumoto, Ryoko Suzuki, Takashi Matsuda, Eiji Watanabe, Masaharu Noda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Salt homeostasis is essential to survival, but brain mechanisms for salt-intake control have not been fully elucidated. Here, we found that the sensitivity of Nax channels to [Na+]o is dose-dependently enhanced by endothelin-3 (ET-3). Nax channels began to open when [Na+]o exceeded ∼150 mM without ET-3, but opened fully at a physiological [Na+]o (135-145 mM) with 1 nM ET-3. Importantly, ET-3 was expressed in the subfornical organ (SFO) along with Nax, and the level was robustly increased by dehydration. Pharmacological experiments revealed that endothelin receptor B (ET BR) signaling is involved in this modulation of Nax gating through protein kinase C and ERK1/2 activation. ETBR agonists increased the firing rate of GABAergic neurons via lactate in the SFO, and an ETBR antagonist attenuated salt aversion during dehydration. These results indicate that ET-3 expression in the SFO is tightly coupled with body-fluid homeostasis through modulation of the [Na+]o sensitivity of Nax.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-519
Number of pages13
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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