NHE2X3 DKO mice exhibit gender-specific NHE8 compensation

Hua Xu, Jing Li, Rongji Chen, Bo Zhang, Chunhui Wang, Nolan King, Huacong Chen, Fayez K. Ghishan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


NHE8, the newest member of the sodium/hydrogen exchanger family, is expressed in the epithelial cells of the intestine and the kidney. Intestinal expression of NHE8 is significantly higher than that of NHE2 and NHE3 at a young age, suggesting that NHE8 is an important player for intestinal sodium absorption during early development. The current study was designed to explore if NHE8 plays a compensatory role for the loss of NHE2 and NHE3 function in NHE2X3 double-knockout (NHE2X3 DKO) mice. We further explored the regulatory mechanism(s) responsible for the change in NHE8 expression in NHE2X3 DKO mice. We found that >95% of NHE2X3 DKO mice survived through weanling. However, only 60% of male NHE2X3 DKO mice and 88% of female NHE2X3 DKO mice survived to 6 wk of life. We also found that the expression of NHE8 in wild-type female mice was higher compared with wild-type male mice after puberty. In NHE2X3 KDO mice, NHE8 expression was increased in females but not in males. Using Caco-2 cells as a model of the small intestine, we showed that testosterone inhibited endogenous NHE8 expression by reducing NHE8 mRNA synthesis, whereas estrogen had no effect on NHE8 expression. Thus our data show for the first time that intestinal NHE8 has a compensatory role in NHE2X3 DKO mice and this regulation is gender-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G647-G653
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Gender
  • Intestine
  • Sex hormone
  • Sodium/hydrogen exchanger 8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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