We describe the inhibitory effect of prostaglandins (PGs) on in vivo rat renal ammonia synthesis. The influence of systemic pH upon urinary PG excretion and ammoniagenesis was also investigated. Finally, PG production by incubated rat renal cortical slices was suppressed to investigate the PG-ammonia interplay in the absence of changes in renal blood flow, glomerular filtration rate, ambient electrolyte concentrations or extrarenal hormonal factors. In vivo ammonia synthesis doubled and PG excretion fell by 44% in normal rats, after intravenous administration of 1 mg/kg of meclofenamate. Higher doses of meclofenamate further augmented ammonia production and further reduced PG excretion. PG depletion was also associated with an increase in fractional excretion of ammonia (FENH3) that was independent of changes in urine flow rate or pH. Acute metabolic acidosis (AMA) increased total ammonia synthesis but also stimulated PG production. Administration of meclofenamate to rats with mild AMA markedly reduced urinary PG excretion, further augmented ammonia synthesis, and significantly increased the FENH3. Inhibition of stimulated PG synthesis during severe AMA did not increase ammoniagenesis or FENH3. Acute metabolic alkalosis did not alter production of PGs or ammonia, but reduced the FENH3 by 42%. Meclofenamate nearly normalized the FENH3 but stimulated synthesis to a lesser degree than was seen in nonalkalotic rats that received meclofenamate. Inhibition of PG synthesis in incubated rat renal cortical slices also stimulated ammoniagenesis. Conversely, stimulation of PG synthesis decreased ammonia production and acidification of the incubation medium increased prostaglandin F2 alpha production. Thus, in vitro findings support the in vivo results. We conclude that PGs inhibit ammonia synthesis in normal rats and in those undergoing mild AMA. Severe acidosis overrides this inhibitory effect of PGs, whereas metabolic alkalosis suppresses the stimulatory effect of PG synthesis inhibition.


E R Jones, T R Beck, S Kapoor, R Shay, R G Narins


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