Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Soc Nephrol. 1990 Nov;1(5):815-21.

The renal mitochondrial toxicity of beta-lactam antibiotics: in vitro effects of cephaloglycin and imipenem.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


The nephrotoxic beta-lactam antibiotics cephaloridine, cephaloglycin, and imipenem produce irreversible injury to renal mitochondrial anionic substrate uptake and respiration after 1 to 2 h of in vivo exposure. Toxicity during in vitro exposure is nearly identical but is immediate in onset and is reversed by the mitochondria being washed or the substrate concentrations being increased. A model of injury that accounts for these findings proposes that the beta-lactams fit carriers for mitochondrial substrate uptake, causing inhibition that is initially reversible and becomes irreversible as the antibiotics acylate the transporters. These studies were designed to create an environment of prolonged in vitro exposure, first, to determine whether toxicity becomes irreversible with time and, second, to study the molecular properties of toxicity. Respiration with and the uptake of succinate and ADP were measured in rabbit renal cortical mitochondria exposed for 2 to 6 h to 300 to 3,000 micrograms of cephalexin (nontoxic) or cephaloglycin or imipenem (nephrotoxic) per mL and then washed to remove the antibiotic. In vitro cephalexin reduced respiration only slightly and was therefore not studied further. Cephaloglycin and imipenem irreversibly reduced both respiration and succinate uptake. ADP uptake was unaffected by cephaloglycin and was slightly reduced by imipenem. Finally, cilastatin, which prevents the tubular necrosis produced by imipenem in vivo, reduced its mitochondrial toxicity in vitro. It is concluded that the pattern of in vitro injury of the nephrotoxic beta-lactams to mitochondrial substrate uptake and respiration evolves in a time-dependent and concentration-dependent manner, consistent with the proposed model of acylation and inactivation of substrate transporters, and that the protective action of cilastatin against imipenem occurs at least partly at a subcellular level.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center