Liver and systemic pH-regulation.

Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie

PubMedID: 1553831

Häussinger D. Liver and systemic pH-regulation. Z Gastroenterol. 1992;30(2):147-50.
Traditionally, lungs and kidneys are viewed as principal organs being involved in systemic acid-base homeostasis in mammals, but this view is not entirely compatible with basic principles of chemistry [for reviews see (1-3)]. Accordingly, a new acidbase concept was developed including an important role of the liver. Hepatic urea synthesis is an energy-driven, irreversible neutralization of the strong base HCO3- by the weak acid NH4+ and a potent feed-back regulation circuit adjusts urea cycle flux, i.e. irreversible hepatic HCO3- elimination, to the requirements of the acid base situation. Accordingly, the liver becomes a major organ for maintenance of HCO3- homeostasis and several implications for clinical medicine are derived from this "new" liver function.