Free access | 10.1172/JCI106314
Medical Research Council, Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Published May 1, 1970 - More info
The early renal metabolic response was studied in rats made acidotic by oral feeding of ammonium chloride. 2 hr after feeding of ammonium chloride there was already significant acidosis. Urinary ammonia also increased after ammonium chloride ingestion and at 1½ hr was significantly elevated. In vitro gluconeogenesis by renal cortical slices was increased at 2 hr and thereafter increased steadily. Ammonia production by the same slices was also increased at 2 hr, but thereafter fell and at 6 hr had decreased to levels which, although higher than those of the control, were lower than those obtained from the rats acidotic for only 2 hr. There was no correlation between in vitro gluconeogenesis and ammonia production by kidney slices from rats during the first 6 hr of acidosis, but after 48 hr of ammonium chloride feeding, these two processes were significantly correlated. The early increase in renal gluconeogenesis was demonstrable with both glutamine and succinate as substrates.
The activity of the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase was increased after 4-6 hr of acidosis. During this time there was a decrease in renal RNA synthesis as shown by decreased uptake of orotic acid-5H into RNA.
Metabolic intermediates were also measured in quick-frozen kidneys at varying times after induction of acidosis. There was an immediate rise in aspartate and a fall in α-ketoglutarate and malate levels. There was never any difference in pyruvate or lactate levels or lactate:pyruvate ratios between control and acidotic rats. Phosphoenolpyruvate rose significantly after 6 hr of acidosis.
All the data indicate that increased gluconeogenesis is an early response to metabolic acidosis and will facilitate ammonia production by utilization of glutamate which inhibits the glutaminase I enzyme. The pattern of change in metabolic intermediates can also be interpreted as showing that there is not only enhanced gluconeogenesis, but also that there may be significant increase of activity of glutaminase II as part of the very early response to metabolic acidosis.