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Potassium deposition during and after hypokinesia in potassium supplemented and unsupplemented rats.

  • Zorbas, Yan G
  • Kakuris, Kostas K
  • Charapakhin, Kyrill P
  • Afoninos, Andreas B
Published Article
International journal of medical sciences
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2005
PMID: 16007262


The aim of this study was to determine that hypokinesia (restricted motor activity) could increase potassium (K+) losses with decreased tissue K+ content showing decreased K+ deposition. To this end, measurements were made of K+absorption, tissue K+ content, plasma K+ levels, fecal and urinary K+ excretion during and after hypokinesia (HK) with and without K+ supplementation. Studies conducted on male Wistar rats during a pre-hypokinetic period, a hypokinetic period and a post-hypokinetic period. Rats were equally divided into four groups: unsupplemented vivarium control rats (UVCR), unsupplemented hypokinetic rats (UHKR), supplemented vivarium control rats (SVCR) and supplemented hypokinetic rats (SHKR). SHKR and UHKR were kept in small individual cages which restricted their movements in all directions without hindering food and water consumption. SVCR and UVCR were housed in individual cages under vivarium control conditions. SVCR and SHKR consume daily 3.96 mEq potassium chloride (KCl) per day. Absorption of K+, and K+ levels in bone, muscle, plasma, urine and feces and PA levels did not change in SVCR and UVCR compared with their pre-HK levels. During HK, plasma, fecal and urinary K+ levels and plasma aldosterone (PA) levels increased significantly (p<0.05) with time, while K+ absorption, muscle and bone K+ content decreased significantly (p<0.05) with time in SHKR and UHKR compared with their pre-HK values and the values in their respective vivarium controls (SVCR and UVCR). During the initial 9-days of post-HK, K+ absorption increased significantly (p<0.05) and plasma K+ levels, fecal and urinary K+ losses and PA levels decreased significantly (p<0.05) and muscle and bone K+ content remained significantly (p<0.05) depressed in SHKR and UHKR compared with their pre-HK and their respective vivarium control values. During HK and post-HK periods, K+ absorption, bone and muscle K+ content, and K+ levels in plasma, urine and feces and PA levels were affected significantly (p<0.05) more in SHKR than in UHKR. By the 15th day of post-HK the values in SHKR and UHKR approach the control values. The higher K+ losses during HK with decreased tissue K+ levels shows decreased K+ deposition. The higher K+ loss with lower tissue K+ levels in SHKR than in UHKR shows that K+ deposition decreases more with K+ supplementation than without. Because SHKR had shown lower tissue K+ content and lost higher K+ amounts than UHKR it was concluded that the risk of decreased K+ deposition and tissue K+ depletion is inversely related to K+ intake, i.e., the higher K+ intake, the greater the risk for decreased K+ deposition, and the higher K+ losses and the greater the risk for tissue K+ depletion. The dissociation between tissue K+ depletion and K+ excretion indicates decreased K+ deposition as the principal mechanism of tissue K+ depletion during prolonged HK.

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