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American Journal of Nephrology


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects approximately 15% of adults in the USA. As CKD progresses, urinary phosphate excretion decreases and results in phosphate retention and, eventually, hyperphosphatemia. As hyperphosphatemia is associated with numerous adverse outcomes, including increased cardiovascular mortality, reduction in phosphorus concentrations is a guideline-recommended, established clinical practice. Dietary phosphate restriction, dialysis, and phosphate binders are currently the only options for phosphate management. However, many patients with hyperphosphatemia have phosphorus concentrations >5.5 mg/dL, despite treatment. Summary: This review pre-sents recent advances in the understanding of intestinal phosphate absorption and therapeutic implications. Dietary phosphate is absorbed in the intestine through two distinct pathways, paracellular absorption and transcellular transport. Recent evidence indicates that the paracellular route accounts for 65-80% of total phosphate absorbed. Thus, the paracellular pathway is the dominant mechanism of phosphate absorption. Tenapanor is a first-in-class, non-phosphate binder that inhibits the sodium-hydrogen exchanger 3 or solute carrier family 9 member 3 (SLC9A3) encoded by the SLC9A3 gene, and blocks paracellular phosphate absorption. Key Messages: Targeted inhibition of sodium-hydrogen exchanger 3 effectively reduces paracellular permeability of phosphate. Novel therapies that target the paracellular pathway may improve phosphate control in chronic kidney disease.

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