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Acta Physiol Scand. 1991 Jan;141(1):27-34.

Gentamicin inhibition of Na+,K(+)-ATPase in rat kidney cells.

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Department of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Na,K(+)-ATPase activity is decreased in homogenized renal tissue from GM-treated rats. This study examines whether the site of the active effect of GM on Na,K(+)-ATPase activity in the kidney can be localized to the proximal convoluted tubules (PCT) where the drug is taken up and where it will produce necrosis. In rats treated with gentamicin (50 i.m.) for 7 days, PCT Na,K(+)-ATPase activity was reduced as compared to vehicle-treated rats but returned to control levels 7 days after treatment withdrawal. In another nephron segment, the medullary thick ascending limb of Henle (mTAL), where GM induced lesions are uncommon, Na,K(+)-ATPase activity was the same in GM- and vehicle-treated rats treatment. To study the in vitro effect of GM, dissected PCT and mTAL segments from untreated rats were preincubated for 30 min with GM 10(-3) M, a dose similar to the tissue concentration in chronically treated rats. In tubule segments that were permeabilized to allow the drug to enter the cells, GM 10(-3) M significantly inhibited Na,K(+)-ATPase activity both in PCT and mTAL. In non-permeabilized mTAL segments GM did not inhibit Na,K(+)-ATPase activity. GM inhibition of Na,K(+)-ATPase activity in permeabilized PCT segments persisted after the tubules were rinsed in GM free medium. GM does not inhibit Na,K(+)-ATPase partly purified from the renal cortex. Conclusion. Gentamicin inhibits Na,K(+)-ATPase activity in renal tubule cells when it has access to the cytoplasm. Treatment with GM will therefore cause a selective inhibition of Na,K(+)-ATPase in the proximal tubule cells.

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