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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2005 Dec;24(12):631-8.

Effect of potassium dichromate on renal brush border membrane enzymes and phosphate transport in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202002, U.P., India.


Chromium is widely used in industry but exposure to chromium compounds in the workplace can result in nephrotoxicity. Various nephrotoxicants affect the brush border membrane (BBM) lining the epithelial cells of the proximal tubule, but there have been no studies regarding the effect of potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7), a hexavalent chromium compound, on renal BBM. In the present work, the effect of administering a single intraperitoneal dose (15 mg/kg body weight) of K2Cr2O7 on rat renal BBM enzymes and inorganic phosphate (Pi) transport was studied. The animals were administered normal saline (control) or K2Cr2O7 and sacrificed 1, 2, 4 and 8 days after treatment. K2Cr2O7 induced reversible damage to the rat kidney function as indicated by serum creatinine (Scr) and urea nitrogen levels. The activities of BBM marker enzymes were significantly decreased in isolated BBM vesicles (BBMV) and homogenates of cortex and medulla on 1, 2 and 4 days after administration of K2Cr2O7 with complete recovery to control values after 8 days. The decrease in the activities of the enzymes was mainly due to changes in maximum velocity (V(max)) values, while the Michaelis constant (Km) remained unchanged. The sodium dependent Pi transport across BBMV was reduced by 50% after treatment with K2Cr2O7. Thus, the administration of a single dose of K2Cr2O7 leads to impairment in the functions of renal BBM. These results suggest that the nephrotoxicity of K2Cr2O7 may be mediated, at least in part, by its effect on renal BBM.

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