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Vet Pathol. 2011 Mar;48(2):408-19. doi: 10.1177/0300985810375811. Epub 2010 Jul 23.

Renal membrane transport of glutathione in toxicology and disease.

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Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Membrane transport processes, at both the plasma membranes and intracellular membranes, play critical roles in renal function and are a determining factor in the susceptibility of renal epithelial cells to blood-borne drugs and toxic chemicals. Proximal tubular epithelial cells possess a large array of transport proteins for organic anions, organic cations, and peptides on both basolateral and brush-border plasma membranes. Although these transporters function in excretion of waste products and reabsorption of nutrients, they also play a role in the susceptibility of the kidneys to drugs and other toxicants in the blood. The proximal tubules are typically the primary target cells because they are the first epithelial cell population exposed to such chemicals in either the renal plasma or glomerular filtrate and because of their large array of membrane transporters. Besides transport across the basolateral and brush-border plasma membranes, transport across intracellular membranes such as the mitochondrial inner membrane is a critical determinant of metabolite distribution. To illustrate the function of these transporters, carrier-mediated processes for transport of the tripeptide and antioxidant glutathione across the basolateral, brush-border, and mitochondrial inner membranes of the renal proximal tubule are reviewed. Studies are summarized that have identified the involvement of specific carrier proteins and characterized the role of these transporters in glutathione metabolism and turnover, susceptibility of the proximal tubules to oxidative and other stresses, and modulation in disease and other pathological processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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