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Title: Free amino acids mimic the anabolic but not the proliferative effect of albumin in OK proximal tubular cells.
Authors: Arici, M
Brown, J
Walls, J
Bevington, A
First Published: Jan-2004
Citation: CELL BIOCHEM FUNCT, 2004, 22 (1), pp. 1-7
Abstract: When plasma proteins leak from circulation into the renal tubular lumen in the proteinuric renal diseases, nephrotoxicity of filtered albumin (and/or molecules bound to it) may be important in the subsequent development of tubulo-interstitial damage which contributes to the progression of the disease. When cultured opossum kidney (OK) proximal tubular cells were exposed to bovine serum albumin for 3 days in vitro, increased cell division ([3H]-thymidine incorporation) and cellular hypertrophy (increased protein/DNA ratio) were observed. Both effects were halved if defatted albumin was used. A trivial explanation for the growth responses is that free fatty acids carried on the albumin, and amino acids generated by intracellular degradation of the albumin, are exerting a non-specific growth effect as metabolic fuels which are oxidized to generate ATP. However, the water-soluble free fatty acid octanoate (1 mmol l(-1)) had no significant effect on protein/DNA ratio and a very variable stimulatory effect on [3H]-thymidine incorporation, whereas an essential amino acid mixture or 1 mmol/l(-1) l-Ala or l-Phe only increased the protein/DNA ratio. Furthermore no carnitine was added to the culture medium. This absence would have impaired mitochondrial transport (and hence oxidation) of long-chain free fatty acids derived from the albumin. l-Phe is also a poor substrate for mitochondrial oxidation in kidney. It is therefore concluded that the growth effects of albumin in OK proximal tubular cells are specific effects of the albumin protein and of the free fatty acids and amino acids derived from it, and not a non-specific effect on metabolic fuel supply.
DOI Link: 10.1002/cbf.1045
ISSN: 0263-6484
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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