Dietary potassium and the renal control of salt balance and blood pressure
In unanesthetized adult sheep, following intake of a daily meal, there was a peak in K excretion. The maximum and minimum rates of K excretion following meals were directly related to meal K content. On days without meals, no peak in K excretion occurred. Changes in K excretion on fed and fast days occurred without changes in the low levels of plasma aldosterone and were poorly correlated with urine or blood pH, urine flow rate, Na excretion, or the filtered load of K, but they correlated well with fractional K excretion. Plasma K did not change on fast days. Plasma K increased on some, but not all, fed days. Increases in plasma K that occurred on fed days were insufficient to account for the concurrent kaliuresis. Infusion of aldosterone or isotonic NaCl failed to alter K excretion in fed or fasted sheep. Infusion of isotonic NaCl + aldosterone hypertonic Na2SO4 + aldosterone increased K excretion in fasted but not fed sheep. Infusion of K in the rumen of fed and fasted sheep elevated rumen K concentration and led to increases in K excretion that could not be explained by increases in plasma K. The mechanisms responsible for the homeostatic changes in K excretion on fed and fast days were not ascertained but may importantly depend on sensors of enteric K content.