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Mads Vaarby Sørensen


Current position: PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark.

During his AIAS Cofund Junior Fellowship, Associate Professor Mads Vaarby Sørensen worked on the project "The renal natriuretic response following an acute potassium intake".

Project at AIAS

Hypertension is a common lifestyle related health problem. It is estimated that 40% of western world adults have hypertension. The condition is a major risk factor for a number of cardiovascular and renal diseases. Even moderate elevations in blood pressure are associated with shortened life expectancy. It has long been known that high dietary K+ intake is able to reduce blood pressure and protect against hypertension. The mechanism underlying the positive effect of high K+ intake is poorly understood. Interestingly, it has been shown that high K+ intake acutely increases Na+ excretion. Since Na+ is the main cation in the extracellular fluid, the total amount of body Na+ is the defining parameter of plasma volume and thereby blood pressure. Thus, dietary K+-triggered reduction of total body Na+ likely plays a part of the beneficial effects on blood pressure. A central study, in my previous research identified, the molecular mechanism underlying the rapid increased urinary Na+ excretion following ingestion of a K+ rich meal. This new knowledge allows for investigations of a number of important questions including: 1) How is a K+ rich meal that enters the gastrointestinal tract sensed? How is the sensed signal transduced from the gastrointestinal tract to the kidneys allowing for molecular alteration in renal Na+ handling? 2) How is K+-induced Na+ excretion regulated as a function of dietary status prior to the ingestion of a K+ rich meal?  This project aims to elucidate these specific questions to get a better understanding of the mechanism of how a K+ rich diet protect again hypertension. 

Project title:

The renal natriuretic response following an acute potassium intake

Area of research:

Medical Sciences

Fellowship period:

1 Oct 2014 – 30 Sep 2017 

Fellowship type:

AIAS-COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 609033 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.